ABOUT this Class
This class explores the evolution of the Baroque 17th century classical landscape.
These landscapes were influenced by classical antiquity and the desire to illustrate an ideal landscape recalling Arcadia, a legendary place in Ancient Greece known for its pastoral beauty.
However, in the beginning of the 17th century in Spain, landscapes were not considered an artistic genre but simply a backdrop for military, hunting and equestrian paintings to fill the Hall of Kingdoms (Realms) within the Buen Retiro palace of the King Felipe IV.
Buen Retiro was the recreational palace devised by Gaspar de Guzmán, 3rd Count of Olivares, who was the disastrous, highly unsuccessful and egoist prime minister of Felipe IV from 1621 to 1643.
Guzmán decided that Felipe IV needed a new hall to preside over court ceremonies and that it should be filled with courtly portraits of the House of Habsburg plus battle scenes in which the Spanish troops were victorious. These paintings were crafted to affirm the power of the monarchy.
It is not until Spanish artists got a glimpse at what was happening in northern Europe, with the advent of the Protestant reform simultaneously evolving with the development of capitalism, that classical landscapes, like the still life genre before, was considered a viable genre to paint.