Dramatics

Baroque art is raw and dramatic which allows for the viewer to be drawn into the emotional and at times psychological response for which these pieces of art demand. There is an intense use of color that not only captures an action, emotion, or event then likewise brings these sensations forth for vivid appreciation. One of the most famous artists of this time period is known as Caravaggio, and his art encompasses all that is Baroque, as it strives to let the viewer participate in the proceedings he painted. There is an intense contrast between light and bright colors on dark and shadowy backgrounds that seem to create a more drastic mood. This seventeenth century art style differs from the classical and lonely representations of the past, by focusing on dramatic, grander, and at times fully moving illustrations. Artist such as Caravaggio allowed for the next generation of artist to be influenced by this style of drastic art. For example Trophime Bigot, who is nick named the "Master of candlelight" is able to transform the style of light and dark and accomplish even more with this effect. These artist and style created a way of challenging the viewer to partake in the emotions of the art piece. The sheer drama of the Baroque style is drawing and allusive as it garners that a feeling or an emotion can be as forcefully captured or portrayed. There is an awing respect to these artists talented enough to create a reaction from their art. Reactionary art is most indicative of the theatrical and passionate period that defines Baroque.

Trophime Bigot was known as the “Master of Candle light” which is evident in this art piece in particular. He is able to add the drama that is the background to this historical representation of a parable from the Old Testament. It is a tale of deception, ingenuity, fear, and desperation, which the artist is able to transform onto canvas. The woman in this story, Judith has to resort to seducing an enemy general, intoxicating him, then cutting his head off in order to save her people. The terror can be seen in his, the General Holofernes’ face as he has begun to realize his end is occurring. One of the most interesting perspectives that this artist creates for Judith is her face demonstrates peace as she violently cuts off Holofernes’ head. One would possibly expect horror or disgust at such a gruesome act, but the artist demonstrates serenity in Judith knowing this is what she must do for her people. The candlelight upon this act is a signature of the artist, as it seems to play with the scene, calling the viewer to take notice of the dramatics by following the light from the candle one scene at a time. Trophime studied the works of Caravaggio and other Baroque artist which is where his theatrical play of candlelight was influenced from.
Caravaggio once again puts his dramatic and what can at times be deemed disturbed spin on a biblical story. The story is that of Abraham being tested by God to see if he is willing to give his most prized procession, his son. As Abraham is about to go though with the murderous act, an angel appears and God offers a ram instead of his son for sacrifice. It is a very emotionally charged event for which Caravaggio does justice. Isaac’s face is tormented and the fear is almost palpable in the face of an innocent boy. Abraham is seen with doubt written on his whether, old face as he is tormented with this act. Once again, Caravaggio uses light against darkness to guide the viewer to what is a glimmer of hope in the ram that is to be killed instead, thus saving Isaac, Abraham, and the viewer from the violence that was to occur. The artist demands the viewer to note the raw passions this event incurred rather then some idealized, serene setting where Abraham was more saintly than man. Here, Caravaggio makes it known Abraham was merely a man whom God graced with but not without the challenges of doubt. As in most his Baroque stylized art, Caravaggio is obsessed with demonstrating the rawness and emotions that his fellow man, no matter who they were or did would feel.
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