Friday, April 10, 2015

Baroque Doorway

The anonymous drawing above (from the Metropolitan Museum) offers two different design-options for a potential door-frame in an unknown and possibly imaginary Italian palace. The design on the left-hand side and the quite different one on the right-hand side have been cleverly merged by the early 18th-century draftsman as if together they might be built as seen and achieve a newly extreme elaboration of baroque exuberance in their asymmetric grandeur.

The 18th-century drawings that follow could all be said to share a similar, backward-looking aspiration to a similarly heightened level of pictorial drama, reflecting the lingering force of 17th-century practice.

Charles Antoine Coypel
River God
18th century

Gabriel Fran├žois Doyen
Allegory of Seasons

Giovanni Battista Natali III
Design for Mirror
c. 1720-40

Pietro Jacopo Palmieri
Trompe l'Oeil

Pietro Jacopo Palmieri
Trompe l'Oeil

Hubert Robert
St. Peter's, Rome
c. 1758

Antoine Watteau
Studies of Women
c. 1717-18

Filippo Juvarra
Architectural Study
c. 1710

William Blake
Satan Exulting over Eve