THE BAROQUE A return to naturalism and to a dramatic pictorialism are the characteristics of the Baroque art that, after the 16th century, supplanted the classicism of the High Renaissance. The propor tions which the classic canon had established for the human body retain their authority in the Baroque, but the calm and generalized features, the rigid, statue-like poses, give way to a physiognomy that is individualized and emotionally expressive, to attitudes that embody dramatic and often passionate movement. The draperies that clothe these classic forms no longer hang in grace ful quiet lines, but, with deep and voluptuous folds, with broken profiles and abrupt shadows, they share, in a tumultuous move ment, the agitation of the bodies they cover. These human forms are arranged in pictorial groups which enact some drama of ecstasy or cruel suffering among the modelled forms of trees and rocks, of architecture and curtained canopy, of floating billowy clouds and golden rays of sculptured light. Movement, not re pose, and emotion, fervid and unrestrained, like that of the Laocodn, are the ideals of this somewhat theatrical art in which light and shade and colour, rather than form and proportion, are the principal actors.
Michelangelo was the first Renaissance sculptor to inform the classic types with superhuman energy and emotional intensity, and in the later work of Giovanni Bologna—such as the Rape of the Sabine Woman in the Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence—we find that delight in the contortion of form, and that astonishing vir tuosity of modelling, which are to be among the striking char acteristics of Baroque sculpture. But the great figure of the Baroque was Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). A technician unexcelled in the history of sculpture, with an imaginative power second only to that of Donatello and Michelangelo, he, almost single-handed, created that grandiose and dramatic form which sculpture was to retain almost to the time of Napoleon. He is at his best in his great altars and magnificent tombs, but not less characteristic are his portrait busts—such as the Louis XIV., at Versailles—in which an accurate and sympathetic characteriza tion of features is combined with a theatrical opulence of cos tume and periwig. His youthful Apollo and Daphne, in the Villa Borghese, Rome, shows his power as an illustrator; the David, also in the Villa Borghese, is an example of his ability to infuse his figures with an intense and concentrated energy; and his Ecstasy of St. Theresa, in S. Maria della Vittoria, Rome, is among the most poignant picturizations of that "passionate mys ticism" which characterized the Catholicism of his day.
Algardi, Cavallini, Borromini and Andrea Pozzo are among the successful Baroque sculptors who followed Bernini in Italy, finding in the facility of stucco a congenial medium for the ex ploitation of his style. But the political and economic weakness of Italy in the i8th century greatly limited the opportunities of her artists, and it is chiefly in the courts of Versailles and of Vienna that Baroque art, so consonant to the imperial spirit and to that of the Catholic reaction, received its greatest patronage. The Italian excesses in pictorialism and in emotional expression were tempered in France by the persistence of the classic tradi tion, while in Germany, where the late Gothic opulence of natural form had never felt the frigid touch of classicism, and in Vienna, where the Turkish invader had brought the fantasy of the Orient to the gates of Vienna, the baroque assumed a gaiety and ex uberance beyond that of its native Italy. In Spain, a profound and active piety endowed many baroque sculptures with an in tensity of devotional feeling which, although realistically rendered, recalls the ecstatic paintings of El Greco.
Guillaume Coustou I. (1677-1746) is a characteristic exponent of the Baroque in France. His Louis XIV. Crossing the Rhine, at Versailles (begun by his brother Nicholas Coustou) bestows on the Italian love of picture and allegory a graciousness that is wholly French. Pierre Puget (162o-1694), a pupil of Bernini, renders the effort of muscles and the whirl of draperies with a technical skill nearly equal to his master ; his Milo of Croton in the Louvre is characteristic. Jean Baptiste Pigalle in his Mercury in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin, and in other works, illustrates that politeness of theme and that grace of treatment with which France endows the Baroque. Claude Michel, called Clodion (1738-1814), carries these tendencies to an extreme, combining them with a natural and sensual technique of rendering; his Nymph and Satyr in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, displays to great advantage the animation and charm of his best work. Jean Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) presages in his Diana, in the Hermitage at Leningrad, the return to the classic which is to mark the end of the 18th century. His portraits—of which the Washington, in the Capitol at Richmond and the Voltaire in the Comedie Francais, Paris, are good examples —are unexcelled in their noble and sympathetic realism.