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Baroque and Rococo 1. Mannerism's emphasis on sub

1. Mannerism's emphasis on subjectivity, shallow space, exaggerated postures, busy surfaces, and agitated compositions was an anticlassical movement opposed to classical canons and the High Renaissance approach to the antique. The Baroque, in the works of its founding fathers, the painters Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) and the sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), represented a return to classical values. But, as the differences in the works of these men shows, the Baroque includes a variety of responses to the classical.

In painting Caravaggio's return to classical and Renaissance influence was rapidly subsumed by his personal vision. The Calling of St. Matthew (1599-1602) displays all Caravaggio's original traits. The low-life setting, the meticulous realism, and the dramatic chiaroscuro combine to produce a vision of a dramatic moment in which the essential connection that is made between the dramatically shadowed face of Christ and Matthew's brightly lit, completely surprised countenance is emblematic of the type of connection between the spiritual and the worldly that Caravaggio tried to evoke for those who were experiencing his works. Caravaggio's classicism is seen primarily in the clarity and order of the composition in which the salient elements receive due weight and the other elements support them.

The classicism of Carracci, filtered through the High Renaissance ideal, is more immediately apparent than that of Caravaggio. In the frescoes at the Palazzo Farnese (1597-1600), his most ambitious and influential work, Carracci clearly draws on Michelangelo's example in the arrangement of the panels and the beautifully modeled figures. But there is also an exuberant quality to Carracci's work that transcends the High Renaissance examples he evoked. Even in a relatively simple composition such as the Polyphemus panel from the Farnese ceiling the action of the ce...

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