Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sculpture is Alive

One main defining characteristic of the Baroque era is dynamism. The work that was being created in this period portrayed such movement that sculptures seemed to wind around and reach out to the audience. This sense of movement that was being incorporated into works of art seemed so alive that it was no longer just paint on a canvas or a figure carved out of stone.

There is a few works of art that I especially feel capture the movement of the time. "The Rape of Persephone" by Bernini is one of my examples. It captures such emotion that the tear on Persephone's face makes us feel her despair from having been captured by Pluto. You can also see the imprint of his hand on her thigh as he aggressively tries to pull her towards him. The elaborate drapery flows in the wind as does her hair. This work of art captures a moment in time.

Another work of art that captures this liveliness in movement would be "Saint Veronica" by Francesco Mochi. In this sculpture, the sense of urgency that Saint Veronica feels to wipe the blood away from Jesus' face is almost tangible. Mochi demonstrates his talent in sculpting by the way he is able to carve the marble into such thin veils of moving drapery.

The Baroque era was meant to captivate the viewer with emotion, and these sculptures do just that through the craftsmanship of the artist.

Additional Sources:

Video on "The Rape of Persephone"
Baroque Sculpture
Baroque Sculpture 2
NYTimes: Bernini and the Art of Architecture

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