Reflections on Baroque

Reflections on Baroque

Robert Harbison

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0226316017

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From its beginnings in the seventeenth century, the eccentric and tumultuous forms of the Baroque spread across not only Europe but colonial Latin America and Asia as well. With Reflections on Baroque, Robert Harbison brings together discussions of aesthetics, science, mysticism, politics, religion, and culture to offer a surprising reinterpretations of the baroque style and its influences and echoes into the twentieth century.

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necessity spread through his later work, influencing his vision in crucial ways. It is generally agreed that Rubens himself executed only the small models for these panels, which were then used by his assistants, including Van Dyck, to produce full-size versions. From the beginning therefore Rubens was obliged to conceptualize the problem of seeing from beneath. Nothing he himself produced was going to be seen that way, unless he constructed experiments in which he placed his reduced models a

closet, nor run behind a screen, or under a table; never be distinguished among the waiting-women by the name of trusty Mr Tattle more. - You will not be so cruel. One could duplicate these distinctly feminized interiors many times in eighteenth-century comedy, most memorably in The Marriage ofFigaro. They are the archetypal spaces of the genre and they leave surprisingly little room for the arcbitetti teatrali who had thrived in Italy and then in many of the courts of Europe earlier in the

REFLECTIONS ON BAROQUE 45 Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 'Prow' of Tiber Island, from theAntichitaRomane, 1756. constructed, something which cannot or should not be where it is. So perhaps the critics are correct who say you were never meant to lose yourself in the trees.Instead, it should be likewalkingon deck, constantly aware of sailing through the alien element of water, continually pleased at the triumph of building over unregenerate nature . Isola Bella is also the nearest thing to pure

apples of the sun, from a place without the inclement weather we are used to. The most thorough treatise yet published on a single genus, the orange, based among other things on an immense amount of direct observation, 145 REFLECTIONS ON BAROQUE 54 Vincenzo Leonardi, Pineapple, c. 1625. still called itself by a mythical name, Hesperides, and included a sprinkling of allegorical scenes by the best artists including Poussin and Guido Reni, illustrating the introduction of the fruit with divine

seeking exploitable plants which could be grown as crops to make the colony pay. Various strands lived happily side by side. The pineapple which a Scottish landowner used, magnified and translated into stone, as the topknot of a huge folly, whose curling lower leaves contained an octagonal room (illus. 57), was in other minds altering how the plant world was understood. Benjamin Franklin studied storms like problems that needed to be cracked or solved, and Rameau put them into his operas as a

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