The Insider's Guide to Horror in Baroque Art

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Prepare to be horrified!

Far from being the reserve of Stephen King’s novels or the movies, horror is one of the oldest genres of the literary and visual arts.

In this class, we will explore what frightened seventeenth-century viewers about the works of artists like Caravaggio or the Neapolitan painter Jusepe Ribera. We will study how these paintings demanded attention by dissolving boundaries between the artwork and the external world of the viewer.

Immersing ourselves in Baroque culture, we will discover an aesthetics of the ugly, an admiration for the skill of the artist in depicting violence and cruelty that results in artworks that are both a delight and a fright to behold.