Thursday, July 20, 2017

Baroque is Irregular Pearl


                There are two kinds of pearls: regular and irregular.Every regular pearl is perfectly spherical and they may differ in size and in luster and "orient "-but each is identical in shape. Now,irregular pearls are almost beyond number in their variety.One distinct group among them gave a name to a very significant style in art: baroque pearls.

baroque pearls from South Sea

Baroque like Renaissance is ahistorical,extending its distinct stylistic tendency across many cultural epochs.They both reflect an important opposition in viewing the world and art.
Egyptian sculpture has been always restrained,balanced in symmetry and therefore expressing what five and a half millennia later was called “renaissance”spirit. Archaic Greek sculpture expresses the same stylistic preference,while Hellenistic epoch is pure “baroque”.
Renaissance art is Apollonian while Baroque is Dionysian. The Sun,the Light of Apollonian approach is illuminating visible world in such a measured,unveiling way that the visibility offers everything for examination,acquaintance,apprehension. Because objects are presented with such clarity,the light itself is not felt as intense presence : forms instead are.

San Giorgio Maggiore by Andrea Palladio

             If Baroque can be understood as expression of “Dionysian” view of life,than it would have to be avoiding in its description chaos,often mentioned in characterizing Dionysian spirit. There is simply never chaos in Baroque art. There is strife,agitation,drama and great imbalance without chaos. Somehow chaos apparently exists outside artistic formal arrangements.
             Renaissance is proposing a view that is a completed task and presents a state of completion. The state of things as they found their fitting places and can show them with finality,clarity and just balance.
Chiostro by Andrea Palladio

              If Renaissance is made of lighted forms,the Baroque believes that the correct view is one of all-encompassing Darkness,out of which ,here and there some protruding promontories emerge , found by searching lights. As much as Renaissance seems mostly static and languorous,the Baroque is striving,reaching or conflicted,overtaken by some dramatic struggle. Even something as sitting would be shown as escaping the chair's confines,rejecting the chair invitation to placidity,being pulled away by some invisible force.
              Baroque art describes the world by chiaroscuro while Renaissance by shaping forms. Artists of Renaissance were pursuing Idealism in everything: ideal forms,ideal proportions,noble line and golden balance. Baroque,at least in painting found a new,fascinating and vast world,unknown to art up till 1590th-realism.
              In Renaissance painting objects are shown fully and appear separate. Baroque presents forcefully the experience of unity in which many parts participate,rarely or never shown on their own. Flux,change,struggle and conflicting forces tear at the whole universe. Banks of clouds are engaged in some meteorological agony,the landscape suffers calamitous convulsions while waters overflow,cascade .Everything has a dramatic role in Baroque Opera Mundi .

Column of Baldacchimo at St.Peter by Bernini

                 Just like Renaissance cannot be build out of Gothic elements- the Baroque arouse out of its own parts,without Renaissance. Continuing and adding more passion to ever thinner elements of Gothic Flamboyant would never lead toward Renaissance. That means there was no gradual replacement of forms of old style and taking in new ones. There was some evolution,or at least intensifications within the period of each style but not graduated transitions from one style to the next.
                A church is a machine loaded with people's yearning and put into motion,a kind of swirl intending to produce communal experience of the Divine.
A church is a devotional carousel for festive rides around circular pillar of Yearning for the Divine that are attempting to move God into appearing for the supplicants.

Baldacchimo by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Even though God is so intensely,so completely everywhere people reject this most fundamental fact about Being and wish for something else: building a focal lens for the concentrated divine presence in form of a stone circle,a temple ,a church,a launch pad for lift off to meet the Divine.
            Renaissance church is laid out as reflection of perfection and therefore its plan has centrality ,circle and square governing it. There is an overwhelming sense of fulfillment and static completion.
Baroque reflects embodiment of a very different feeling. Instead of a square and centrality it builds on longitudinal plan and where in Renaissance would be perfect circle Baroque would use an ellipse and an oblong. Baroque expresses an intense agitation,gathering of forces,reaching out.
Baroque state of the spirit is filled with passions transgressing all moderation. Relation with the Divine is so endowed with extreme emotions,so much intensity animates the faithful that nothing can stay unrelated outside of its ardent plea for salvation.
The division between renaissance approach and baroque is present throughout time and every creation belongs to either style.