English 233: Introduction to Western Humanities -- Baroque and Enlightenment
THE LOGICAL STRUCTURE
OF AN ART-HISTORICAL PERIOD STYLE CONCEPT
|An intrinsic logical
property of art-historical concepts is that they are contrastive.
The notion, for example, of
"baroque" (and more specific varieties of the
baroque, such as "Roman ecclesiastical
baroque," "French baroque" [alias
"Louis XIV style" ], or "Dutch Protestant
baroque") makes sense only in distinction from other
recognizably different period styles, like the rest of
These differences will turn up "at all levels" within the complex that makes up the comprehensive period style concept --
and more immediate effects aimed at
characteristic choices in subject matter
"High Renaissance painting"
"Roman ecclesiastical baroque"
Note: The tables that follow are best read from the bottom upwards.
in the Surrounding Social Context
|Cultural assumptions about how the world
works and how the world ought to be, giving rise to
and thus to:
|Engagement in, consolidation in, recruitment to OR opposition to, resistance to prevailing causes.|
[MORE OR LESS IMMEDIATE]
[some particular complex of specific elements of the following:]
[Note the overlap, or at least
[the evident facts of the work, some particular complex of the following:]
|Subject matter choices
What to represent:
[Note the overlap, or at least complementarity.]
Note that the term
"style" appears on three occasions here, in
three different senses. This is because the term is
actually used this way. Hence, whenever we hear the
word, we need to ask ourselves whether it is conveying
the sense of
- (The most comprehensive sense: this is what it means in the phrase "period style concept.")
- (This is what it means in the phrase "stylistic features" embracing the last two lists, above.)
- (The narrowest sense of the term: this is what it means in the phrase "stylistic decisions" used to label the rightmost bottom list.)
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Contents copyright © 1997 by Lyman A. Baker.
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This page last updated 13 September 1999.