Responding to the variety of ideological assumptions of the public to which they are addressed and of the various functions to which they are intended, seventeenth-century art and architecture show a differentiated range of expressions. Alongside a persistent classicist attitude, the concept of imagination imposes itself, laying the foundations for an illusionistic and spectacular language that emotionally involves the viewer. In painting, with the technical specialization, genres assert themselves. Rome, moving from the exceptional fervor of works and ideas of the previous century and the spiritual action of the Counter-Reformation, through a current of transition (with G. Della Porta, F. Ponzio, M. Longhi, C. Maderno, S. Maderno, C. Mariani, F. Mochi), became the center of the elaboration and radiation of Baroque art and architecture. GL Bernini did not place limits on typological, spatial, scenographic and formal research. A. Algardi adhered to a noble classicism; Bernini’s innovations provided the dominant character to sculpture in Rome (M. Caffà, A. Raggi, E. Ferrata), in Naples (G. Finelli), in Florence (GB Foggini), in Genoa and in Venice (F. Parodi). F. Borromini was a brilliant researcher of original solutions, interested in structure, formal variety, multiple points of view: his solutions were a stimulus for the architecture of the following century also abroad. Pietro da Cortona, architect and painter of great importance, elaborated a personal and anticipatory interpretation of the Baroque. Other protagonists, in Rome, G. and C. Rainaldi, the Longhi, C. Fontana. In painting, in Rome, in addition to the still late sixteenth-century painting of Cavalier d’Arpino, Caravaggio’s example was widely imitated (O. and A. Gentileschi, O. Borgianni, B. Manfredi); introduction to the naturalistic currents, he worked in a particular way in Naples and extended his influence even outside of Italy. Also in Rome, the Bamboccianti developed an anti-rhetorical realism in scenes of popular life (M. Cerquozzi); N. Poussin, C. Lorrain and the Romanized G. Dughet marked the evolution of landscape painting.
According to TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA.COM, the Bolognese school, begun by the Carraccis, supported by a sure craft and vast literary-figurative culture, had a wider following throughout Italy, particularly in Emilia and Rome. G. Reni, Domenichino, F. Albani, G. Lanfranco, Guercino achieved high fame. In Rome, A. Sacchi welcomed the classicist tradition, continued and consolidated at the end of the century by C. Maratta. Contrasting is the research of Pietro da Cortona, then continued in the Baroque decorative tradition by Baciccia and A. Pozzo, who led to the most daring implementations of the illusionistic quadrature, born at the end of the 16th century. in Bologna where he continued, from G. Dentone to Bibbiena.
In Naples the architecture of the 17th century. starting from the great building activity of D. Fontana he connected himself to the Roman examples, especially with the Lucanian F. Grimaldi; but the dominant personality was C. Fanzago from Bergamo: very industrious also as a sculptor, he developed a rich and refined baroque from the premises of Tuscan mannerism (GA Montorsoli, Giambologna, M. Naccherino, P. Bernini). In Naples one of the most important pictorial schools developed, linked to the Caravaggesque influence, the Carraccesca-Renian current and the Spanish taste: B. Caracciolo, M. Stanzione, A. Vaccaro, B. Cavallino; the battalist A. Falcone; Micco Spadaro; S. Rosa, landscape painter and battalist of great stature. In the late seventeenth century the Calabrian M. Preti merged the Caravaggesque teaching with Venetian and Emilian influences, while L. Giordano, sensitive to the Venetian taste and the great Roman Baroque decoration, he was preparing the eighteenth century. P. Porpora, G. Recco, GB Ruoppolo and A. Belvedere excelled in the still life.
In the Italy The southern center of a specific architecture was Lecce, where the ductile local stone and the infiltration of the Plateresque taste favored a particular plastic ornamentation by A. Landucci, GC Penna, G. Zimbalo and G. Cino. Messina and Palermo developed forms permeated with Tuscan, Roman, Spanish, Ligurian and Lombard influences, but the salient phenomenon in Sicily was the reconstruction, after the 1693 earthquake, of Catania, led in the following century by GB Vaccarini, a Roman-trained Palermo., and that of Noto. In sculpture, beyond the confines of the century, G. Serpotta stands out. Even in the Neapolitan orbit, Sicilian painting had its own accents with P. Novelli, who looked to Ribera and A. van Dick.
In Tuscany we are witnessing a progressive cultural isolation: in architecture N. Nigetti and G. Silvani remained tied to late Mannerist schemes, in the sculpture P. Tacca and G. Caccini; close to the ways of Bernini, at the end of the century, are G. Baratta and GB Foggini; Cigoli, Passignano, C. Allori attempted an update in painting; the presence of Pietro da Cortona in Florence was felt by F. Furini and by Volterrano; free and imaginative cooler was Giovanni da San Giovanni; of great technical skill, in the dominant taste, was C. Dolci. In the field of engraving, the etchings of S. Della Bella have vast scope.
In Piedmont, A. Vitozzi and C. and A. Castellamonte are architects of eclectic correctness; to G. Guarini, with a broad philosophical and mathematical culture, we owe daring inventions, development of the Borromini heritage. The political and economic rise of the city of Genoa in the 17th century. is reflected in the flowering of the arts. The architecture was spectacular and grandiose, developing the type of the two-faced building (B. Bianco). Sculpture, dominated by the sixteenth-century Lombard tradition, welcomed the new Berninian trends from P. Puget (GF Parodi). In painting, the local tradition represented by L. Cambiaso was affected by the Flemish penetration of PP Rubens and A. van Dyck, developing a well-defined physiognomy based on color and free brushstroke (G. Assereto, GA De Ferrari, B. Strozzi, GB Castiglione ). The monumental decoration,
The ideas of Cardinal Federico Borromeo made a decisive impact on Lombard architecture and art. According to a centuries-old tradition, Lombardy produced entire families of builders and sculptors, important in the Roman, Southern and Genoese Baroque; on the other hand, the artists who remained in their homeland (active in the two colossal enterprises of the Certosa di Pavia and the Duomo of Milan) followed the traditions of the late sixteenth century, in FM Richini bent to original spatial solutions with strong dynamic effects. The Counter-Reformation ideals of Cardinal Borromeo found expression above all in the painting of Cerano, Morazzone and GC Procaccini, in Tanzio da Varallo and F. Cairo. A singular painter of still lifes with musical instruments was E. Baschenis from Bergamo. The economic and political involution is reflected, in Venice, also in his artistic production: the great legacy of Palladio and Sansovino determined a substantial fidelity to that classicism, from which B. Longhena developed an original Baroque style. In the field of painting, a renewal was brought about by the Roman D. Fetti, the German J. Liss and the Genoese B. Strozzi, of which F. Maffei and S. Mazzoni mainly participate.