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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Drama Most Splendid: The Art and Architecture of the Baroque and Rococo

4-Session Evening Course on Zoom

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0086
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Court Chapel in the Würzburg Residence, Germany

From the bold and the beautiful art of the 17th century to the exuberant Rococo architecture of the 18th, nothing tells the creative story of this period more eloquently than the profusion of great masters and masterpieces it produced. From Italy to France, Spain to England and the far north, art in the Age of Absolutism was rich, dynamic, and complex, ranging from elegant works of extraordinary classical beauty to highly dramatic, emotive and spiritual visions, and to those of quiet restraint.

Art historian Rocky Ruggiero places the Baroque and Rococo movements within a historical and cultural context; emphasizes artistic styles and the expansion of subject matter; and focuses on major masters and pivotal masterpieces.

MAY 6  A Bold Classicism: Rome and the Italian Foundations of the Baroque

Renaissance versus Baroque; late 16th-century eclecticism and 17th-century developments; creating a bold new classicism; the importance of Rome; the completion of St. Peter’s; Bernini, Caravaggio, and Carracci.

MAY 13  A Sublime Beauty: Royal and Imperial Grandeur

The triumph of academic classicism; the French- and German-speaking worlds, England, and Sweden; the Holy Roman Empire; the splendor of Vienna and Prague; the sublime and the beautiful; Versailles and Schonbrunn Palace; Poussin and Lorrain; French painting and sculpture, pastoral and classical landscapes.

MAY 20  A Golden Age: The Genius of Flanders and the Dutch Republic 

Netherlandish traditions and Flemish masters; the dramatic synergy and emotive art of Rubens; van Dyck and portraiture; Dutch masters: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Steen, Leyster, Ruisdael, Hobbema, Heda.

MAY 27  Elegance and Exuberance: From Baroque Sobriety to Rococo Sensuality

El Greco, Velasquez, Ribera, and Murillo; Gainsborough, Romney, and Hogarth; the English country house; Canaletto; Chardin, Fragonard, and Boucher.

4 sessions

World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.