Beginning around the year 1600, the demands for new art resulted in what is now known as Baroque style. This artistic style used exaggerated motions and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music. It was meant to evoke emotion and passion instead of the calm rationality that had been prized during the Renaissance (Wikipedia). A Baroque artist named Sebastiano Ricci created the painting A Glory of the Virgin with the Archangel Gabriel and Saints Eusebius, Roch, and Sebastian in 1724-1725 and measured forty four and eleven sixteenths of an inch by twenty five inches. When I first saw this painting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), I immediately experienced a sense of spirituality, evoked by my Christian upbringing.
In this oil on canvas painting, Ricci portrays the glory of the mother of Christ, accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel, revealing herself to Saints of the Catholic Church. There are many things that are happening in this piece and every little detail plays a pivotal part in this masterpiece. What caught my eye first was the depiction of Heaven as well as Earth; Ricci’s depth perception really gives different levels to this piece. I love the Brightness that protrudes from Heaven down to the sky. The Virgin Mary is atop of the clouds with rays of light accentuating the brilliant blue of her clothing, as well as her beauty. This exaggerated lighting is typical in the Baroque style and I feel Ricci depicts this vividly. The wide use of Cherubs and other Angels really give a sense of warmth and comfort and the Cherubs appear to have a baby like softness to the touch.
The Archangel Gabriel is descending upon the three Saints with a white flower. This flower is actually the Madonna lily, which is considered by the Roman Catholic Church as a symbol of purity, and fits well in this piece as Gabriel is almost assuring the Saints...