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Art History

Art is a source material for social, political, and historical inquiry whose effectiveness in communicating political ideas and criticisms is demonstrated by European painters before, during, and after the transition to Baroque paintings. European painters made social and political statements addressing the power of the Roman Catholic Church in Baroque paintings. Famous painters such as Peter Paul Ruben and Paolo Veronese, as well as Caravaggio and Frans Hal offered distinctly different structures which expounded upon the colors, characters, facial qualities, clothes, locations, expressions, and among other aspects in their work to both coincide and remark against the power of the Roman Catholic Church during the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

After the dark ages, European society emerged and mini-kingdoms were established throughout Europe. Catholics, not Protestants, were able to secure their power over feudal lords who ruled these kingdoms, dictating the progression of arts according to artists and musicians in order to control the views of the general population and ensure support for the Protestants and other breakaway factions remained limited, if at all. The Roman Catholic Church gained control over all western music as well as western art, wherein patrons would hire artists to create pieces that reflected upon the values of the church as well as hire composers to write pieces to be used during mass and other religious ceremonies.

During the Middle Ages, there were social and religious developments that took place greatly influencing the art of that time. Throughout Europe, the period from 500 A.D. to 1400 A.D. was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church (Atlas 19). During this transitional period, Baroque became the emphasized artistic style which utilized color, movement, and sensuality to convey the pictures and themes, with some artists’ work being characterized by landscapes, historical paintings, portraits, and Counter-Reformation pieces which were part of the new artistic movement during the sixteenth century. The Renaissance expounded upon the traditionally religious works of art commissioned by religious leaders and soon incorporated Mannerist style, indicative of elaborate stores, pageantry, architectural settings, and dramatic color.

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