Rembrandt’s Similarities to Baroque Artists





Rembrandt’s Similarities to Baroque Artists

The art of the Baroque era was inspired by a cohesive disinclination from Catholic-oriented art. This can be seen largely in the artworks created by Rembrandt, Carracci, and Caravaggio. In fact, most of the compositions developed by these artists deviated largely from the traditional Catholic art style that always captured religious figures in an opulent and dignified manner. As such, the Baroque style was largely opposed as evidenced by works such as Anatomy Lesson by Rembrandt, which possesses interesting convergences with Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio and Caracci’s The Virgin Mourning Christ. Nonetheless, the works of Carracci and Caravaggio acted as an influential factor for Rembrandt’s style, which adopted most of the characteristics reminiscent of the artists’ style and the Baroque form as a whole. One particular similarity between Rembrandt’s piece and the other artists’ work involves the employment of chiaroscuro, which was largely evident in Caravaggio and Caracci’s artwork. In Anatomy Lesson, Rembrandt’s application of the respective style is evidenced by sturdy contrasts between dark and light between the main figures and the context surrounding them. This light-dark contrast was used to suggest the modeling and volume of the portrayed subjects. Similarly, Caracci’s use of chiaroscuro is portrayed by the way the light is forced to illuminate the core subject, which is the body of Christ (Gombrich 299). The same style is also adopted by Caravaggio based on the way the light illuminates the features of the disciple, Thomas and his attempts at assessing the truthful nature of Christ’s resurrection. Interestingly, Caravaggio’s use of light depicts the body in a harsh and glaring manner in contrast to the dark shadows (Gombrich 299). In this sense, the commonality between Rembrandt, Carracci, and Caravaggio is depicted by the theatrical application of light and shadow in their paintings. Despite this, Rembrandt’s distinctiveness from the respective artists is highlighted by his departure from religious subjects.

Works Cited

Gombrich, Ernst Hans. The Story of Art. Phaidon Press, 2006.

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