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Word of Art
personals [ Thoughts ]

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by [cristina-monica ]

2013-05-26  |     | 

Baroque Painting: a strict moral code, asserted with buoyancy

The world of baroque paintings intrigues by imposing quite simple paradigmata in an implosive and complex expression, so often artificial for the young generation. It is the world of those who learned in silence, following the drive nosce te ipsum, because, paradoxically, in these artworks one can find an initiation attempt with Socratic tools.

Baroque art is like a treasure map and the traveling compels to define an ontology, an anthropology of revelation and nonetheless an axiology with cynical and bitter accents.
The World Upside Down by Jan Steen is one of the innumerable illustrations of this revealing irony. The pertinent satire is driven to ridicule and burlesque.

The religious paintings, by their intertwined lights and shadows, cast over the contrast between experience and naiveté the game between wisdom and sacred foolishness. A perfect example of this kind is The Death of the Virgin by Caravaggio.

Numerous objects, apparently intruders to the scenes, hold a highlighted symbolical value in different paintings, becoming clues in a charade which the spectator solves volens nolens.

Sometimes social relationships abandon the stylization cloth. The extravagant Rubens, especially in The Arrival of Marie de Medici at Marseilles reveals true aphoristic meanings of history; the titanic pillars of the society are incarned with exaltation within the necessary roundish bodies of the nymphs, which can raise the pyramid of the society or any queen of it.

Baroque has no feelings, if this notion implies delicacy and decency. The truth is yelled at any door if you hold the appropriate key. Paintings like The Astronomer by Johannes Vermeer or by Gerrit Dou, The Anatomy Lesson by Rembrandt take a glimpse towards the foundation of human reasoning in its instance of propulsive force, engine of celestial or alchemical revolutions.

I hid a smile while cataloguing unconsciously the bestiary or the botanical list throughout baroque paintings. From the gigantic vegetables in genre paintings up to the often seen aristocratic puppies with grotesque appearance. Such genetic mutations along the centuries can be a better illustration for the well known expression mutatis mutandins than the vanitas paintings, like those of Harmen Steenvyck, Willem Claesz Heda and others.

False critique from me to myself

Spare me of your anthropological elusive paradigmata. I’ve seen worse than you, but now you are talking as if you were umbilicus mundi. It is raining and I forgot my umbrella and in the middle of the road you are analyzing your philosophical cocksureness with your derogatory smile, like the Sphinx. What are you trying to preach?

You seem to know what you are talking about; you seem to erect your own statuary ego as a moralizer, banishing my casual sins, persistent only in your imagination. Don’t you know it is only a thin line between naiveté and experience or between wisdom and sacred foolishness? I prefer to meet decent fools who think they are in love than those pharisaical wise people that follow only their egotistical pretensions and don’t even care about others. At least foolish ones care, even if they cannot help. They are honest. And your words are too much of a theory and a big nothing in practice.

Axiology is a good pretense, but who can help me find shelter from rain or food when I am hungry? You should have read more praxeology my friend.

Am I right?
No, said myself with a blink of the eye.

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