Sunday, October 4, 2009

Entry #3 Week of 9/28

The word baroque derives from the anicent Portuguese noun "barroco" which is a pearl that is not round but of unpredictable and elaborate shape. The art of the Baroque began roughly in the 17th century in Rome. It was known for its drama in sculpture, painting, literature, and music. The popularity of Baroque art was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided at the Council of Trent that the arts should communicate religious themes. Another group at the time encouraged the production of baroque art, the aristocracy. They saw Baroque architecture as a means of impressing visitors of their city and expressing power and control.

In many ways, this new form of art was reflective of an important period in world history, the Maritime Revolution. Historians had traditionally emphasized that the Baroque style evolved during a time in which the Roman Catholic Church had to react against the many revolutionarly cultural movements at the time that included new science and new forms of religion. In many ways this mirrors the expeditions of explorers during a time of discovery. The Roman Catholic Church during the time of the Maritime Revolution were still thinking in terms of literal text. The story of Noah and the Flood was used often when trying to explain how the world was composed. For example, when Columbus discovered what we now know were the East Indies, he wrote home to his King and Queen that he had reached Asia. This was because he did not want to upset his figureheads or the Catholic Church. According to the Church, descendents of Noah and his sons were only on the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia...not North or South America.

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