chapter  6
25 Pages

Culture

InpaintingtheoriginalityofBaroqueartists,theirabilitytoinnovateon Renaissancemodelswereheraldedbythemonumentalcanvasseswhich MichelangeloMerisi(1573-1610),betterknownasCaravaggiofromhisnative towninLombardy,paintedinRome,acitythatwasbecomingapremier magnetforartistsfromItalyandindeedfromEuropethankstothelavish patronageofpopes,cardinalsandmembersofthelocalnobility.4Caravaggio boldlybrokewithtraditionbyadoptinga'naturalistic'approachevenwhen dealingwithreligioussubjects:inhispaintingsthefiguresaredrawnstraight fromcontemporarylifeashecouldobserveitinthestreetsandtavernsof Romeratherthanfromsomeidealizedandsomewhatremoteworld.Healso departedfromtradition(andinsodoinginfluencedgenerationsofartistsboth inItalyandabroad)inthewayheplayedwithlightandshadowtoimparta

2.H.G.Koenigsberger,'DecadenceorShift?ChangesintheCivilizationofItalyand EuropeintheSixteenthandSeventeenthCenturies'(1960)reprintedinhisEstates andRevolutions.EssaysinEarlyModernEuropeanHistory,CornellUniversity Press,Ithaca,N.Y.1971,pp.278-97.OtherrevisionistinterpretationsincludeJean Delumeau,L'ItaliedeBotticelliaBonaparte,Colin,Paris1974,pp.249-75; AlbertoAsorRosa,ItSeicento.LanuovascienzaelacrisidelBarocco,Laterza, Bari1974,vol.1,pp.3,16-18,30-6;RobertoAlonge,'Letteraturaespettacolonel Seicento',inSSI,vol.11,p.463;andBrendanDooley,'Introduction'tohisItalyin theBaroque.SelectedReadings,GarlandPublishing,Hamden,Conn.1995,pp. 1-21.Thisanthologyoffersafineselectionoflesswell-knownyetimportant literaryandscientifictextsinEnglishtranslation.