Northern Baroque

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    Hals, Laughing Cavalier

    Convey a sense of exuberance and immediacy which is enhanced by the sitters pose, character, and proximity to the picture plane. The cavalier is set at an oblique angle. His left arm forms two diagonals simultaneously leading in and out of the picture space which are repeated in the torso and the tilted hat. His curve of his mustashe and his direct gaze create the impression of a smile.
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    Leyster, The Last Drop

    Exuberance is created by broad hearty gestures and strong diagonals. This is accentuated by Leyster's dramatic contrasts of light and dark, the flickering candle, and the rich red costume. The youths are farther back in space which makes them less monumental and dont confront the viewer directly. We are absorbed with the drinker and smoker and the skeleton with the hourglass allude to the passage of time and the inevitability of death.
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    Oosterwyck, Vanitas Still Life

    Each element contains a warning against folly. Flowers are transient and die. The skull, the stalk being eaten by the mouse, and the ear of corn are images of transience and decay. An hourglass marks the passage of time and the astrological globe constrasts the vastness of the universe and the notion that humanity is ruled by the stars.
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    Rembrandt van Rijn, Blinding of Samson

    Draws the viewer into the picture through the strong sihouetted diagonals of the man in red who directs his lance at samson. Delilah carries scissors and hair that was his strenght. Sharp contrasts of light and dark emphasis the effect of blindness and the violence is accentuated bt the force of diagonal thrusts that are typical of baroque.
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    Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait Leaning on a Sill

    He looks optimistically out into the world. Creates a sense of inner character visible through the window of the eyes just as the picture itself is a window on the figure.
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    Rembrandt van Rijn, Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq

    The city wall pierced by an arch in the background evokes the triumphal arches of ancient rome. It also reminded viewers that the dutch had overthrown their spanish conquerors and were now free people. The two men striding form a diagonal link between observor and company. The captain extends his left hand inviting us into the scene. The shadow continues the line of the captain's red sash creating a typical baroque interplay of light, dark, and color. Behind the flag bearer is a self portrait.
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    Jacob van Ruisdael, Extensive Landscape with Ruins

    Seems to encompass a vast space which is expanded by the broad horizontal sweep of the earth, water, and sky. Together these natural features produce a sense of atmospheric intensity enhanced by the rumbling clouds that menace the calm water and land. The strong vertical accent provided by the church tower serves to anchor the painting and emphasize the flatness.
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    Vermeer, Lacemaker

    We view the girl and her threads as a close up creating the impressionism that we share her space. We follow her gaze to the needles and bobbins as her hands work them with determined focus.
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    Vermeer, Geographer

    Reflects both the dutch interest in exploration and science and the artist's meticulous depiction of interiors. The globe above him refers to the exterior world. Reinforcing the sense of a vast world is the cropped and framed maps and the gaze of the geographer.
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    Vermeer, View of Delft

    Dutch taste for landscape. Combined an atmospheric sky with houses and water in a way that illustrates his genius for conveying jewel-like areas of light. Despite the large canvas the attention to meticulous detail creates a feeling of intimacy. Naturalistic effects creates a glowing textured surface motion that was entirely new in Western European art.
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Northern Baroque
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