Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

FNAR 343 Baroque Art

Spring 2016



MEETING: Tuesday, 9:30 am – 12:30 PM.

Instructor: John Nicholson


Course Description

The course is a study of the visual arts from the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries, the period labeled Baroque in art history.  Art historians agree that this style originated in Rome “The cradle of the Baroque was Italy and the artistic capital of Italy was Rome.” The Baroque has a been seen as the expression of a new spirit in the Catholic Church and Papacy following the Counter Reformation which affirmed  the pictorial arts have an essential role as a stimulus to devotion and a means of religious instruction. Under the stimulus of ecclesiastical patronage, many artists contributed to this movement: Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Franceso Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, and especially Gian Lorenze Bernini who has been called the “artistic dictator” of Rome during the period. From Rome, the Baroque spread to other parts of Europe; the course will also study some aspect of the international Baroque. This study will be implemented through classroom lectures and discussion, but especially through on-site visits for a direct contact with the masters of the Roman Baroque and their works.

Course Objectives

-          An introduction to the basic problems of art historical study: historical context, the roles of artist and patron, techniques, iconography, and style.

-          An understanding of the distinctive features of the arts in the Baroque period within the context of Rome’s Christian heritage, the role of the Papacy,  and the renewal in the Church following the Counter Reformation.

-          A direct acquaintance with painting, sculpture, and architecture through on-site visits and lectures.

-          An enhanced appreciation of the role of art in a crucial period of European history.

-          An enriched knowledge and experience of Rome, its artistic, religious and cultural traditions and enduring contribution to Europe and the world.

On-Site Classes

-          Information on the meeting place and transportation will be posted.

-          Because of heavy traffic and crowded buses, you must leave the Rome Center more than one hour before the beginning of class.

-          Proper dress is required for visiting churches.

-          Please do not eat, smoke, use cell phones, text or take photographs during on-site lectures.

Required Texts

Howard Hibbard. Caravaggio. Westview Press.

_____________. Bernini. Viking Penguin.

On-Site Notes/Supplementary Reading






Course Requirements


There will be three examinations on dates to be assigned.

-          Changes in examination dates are not open to negotiation.

-          Make-up examinations will not be given for travel-related absences.

-          Cheating or dishonesty of any kind on an examination will be penalized by

           an F (0 points).


Course Grade. First exam, 20%. Second exam, 30%. Final exam, 30%.  

                               Participation/Attendance, 20%.

Grading Scale. 93-100 = A. 89-92 = A-

                           86-88 = B+. 81-85= B. 78-80 = B-

                           75-77 = C+. 71-74 = C. 68-70 = C-

                            65-67 = D+. 59-62 = D.  58 and below = F.



Questions and discussion are encouraged during classroom and on-site meeting. Presence at these meetings is considered a form of participation. Twenty points has been assigned for participation and attendance. Those absent from two meetings will forfeit five points; those absent from more than two meetings will forfeit all twenty points. Absences excused for medical reasons or other emergencies require a singed note from the Academic or Dean of Students’ Office.


Office Hours (Bookstore)

Monday. 1:30 -3:30 PM. Wednesday. 1:30 – 3:30 PM. And by appointment.

Email: jnich1@luc.edu.


Lectures. Visits. Reading


  1. Classroom. Introduction to the Baroque PeriodForms and Structures OF Baroque



  1. On-Site. St. Peter’s in the Vatican. (On-Site Notes 1)


  1. Classroom Caravaggio: Painting. Bernini: Early Sculpture.  Hibbard, Caravaggio.1-88. Hibbard, Bernini.23-67


  1. On-Site. S. Agostino. S. LuigideiFrancesi. Doria-PamphiliGallery(Adm. Fee)

            On-Site Notes 2.


  1. Classroom. First Examination.


      6.  On-Site. S. Maria della Vittoria. S. Susanna. S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane.

           S. Andrea al Quirinale. Fonatana di Trevi.  On-Site Notes 3.


  1. Classroom. Caravaggio: Later Painting. Classicism in Baroque Painting.

            Hibbard, Caravaggio. pp. 164-267. Supplementary Readings.


  1. On-Site. Pantheon. S. Ignazio. Il Gesu. S. Andrea della Valle.

On-Site Notes 4.


9        Classroom. Second Examination.


10    On-Site. Piazza di Spagna. Via del Corso. Piazza del Popolo & S. Maria del   

            Popolo. On-Site Notes  5.


11    Classroom. Painting in Flanders and Holland. Supplementary Readings).


12    On-Site. S. Ivo alla Sapienza. Piazza Navona. S. Maria della Pace. S. Maria in  

            Vallicella. Ponte S. Angelo. On-Site Notes 6.       


13    On-Site. S. Giovanni in Laterano.  On-Site Notes 7.