Hals is best known for his ability to catch a “spitting image” of his subjects; perhaps his all-too-accurate rendering ability is the reason why he had so few commissions. Like many Dutch painters who produced works for the open market, Hals painted for a variety of clientelle, and the images he is most well-known for today are the genre portraits which were quickly painted and often with an eye towards economy of materials. The higher-profile paintings, ironically, show his limitations more than his strengths. Hals produced many portraits, yet he utilized only a select few standard attitudes in his poses.
Erasmus was a bishop executed by the Romans in the early Fourth Century. He would later become the patron saint of sailors. This image shows him being disemboweled, his intestine being wound up on a windlass, a device used for winding up a ship’s anchor. Poussin got this commission for this 13′ tall St. Peters altar painting through the influence of Castiano del Pozzo, the collector, ancient literature enthusiast and secretary to Cardinal Francesco Berberini (Berberinna would later become Pope Urban VIII).
Poussin is especially important because he was one of the first artists to express his intentions in writing. His ideas, mostly expressed in letters, became influential to the development of French Classical taste in academic art of the 19th Century. Poussin was well-educated; he could read Latin and knew of the authors whose works he cited in his paintings. Poussin came from Normandy, but spent the majority of his career in Italy. He moved to Rome in 1624, where he was popular among the literati, especially del Pozzo.
While Reni was far more influential than Artemesia Gentileschi, this painting shows evidence that Reni had very little understanding of the female torso. The elite taste of the 17th Century was trained to look at the female figure in terms of ancient Roman statuary. The female form was considered at that time to be an imperfect derivative of the male form.
Commemorates the marriage of Bacchus to Ariadne. Bacchus took pity upon Ariadne, who had been rejected by Thesius, lord of Athens, after she helped him to escape from the labrynth beneath the palace of King Minos. Thesius left her weeping on the island of Naxos. The procession is led by satyrs and woodland creatures.
From the book of Daniel. Susanna is having her virtue compromised by two lascivious older men who threaten to expose her as an adultress if she does not comply with their sexual demands. The figure is on display, a pyramid bears down on her. Pre Caravaggio influence. Compared with other contemporary and previous depictions of this story, (Guido Reni, 1620; Tintoretto, 1555; Hanshorst, 1655) Gentileschi was one of the first artists to accurately depict the female form. The tastes of the time did not care especially for the female figure in painting, and tradition had long held against using live female models.
This seduction painting, made for Cardinal del Monte, is the most successful of several Bacchus paintings. Bacchus, with his sensuous, full mouth and dreamy eyes, offers the viewer a drink while he pulls at the knot on his robe. The basket of rotting fruit presents a subtext of moralization; the boy will also age as time passes. Although Caravaggio did not paint what can be seen through the glass as it would be realistically distorted, he is considered to be more of a Baroque realist than a Baroque classicist (such as Carracci). This distinction is not due to an especially accurate technical rendering, for there are many examples such as the one previously stated throughout his work, but to the subject matter Caravaggio used.