CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Discord and harmony in the art of the Baroque era

Exhibition: 12 June 2010 - 29 May 2011

Dramatic effects and themes surface in many of the European paintings in the permanent collection that hail from the age of the Baroque, an artistic revolution around the turn of the 17th century. It was sparked by the great conflict of the period between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant reformers. This exhibition draws on the Art Centre’s rich holdings in Baroque painting to explore the role played by discord in the subject matter and function of these works. Leading the way is a group of martyrdom scenes that articulate the Catholic assertion of the role of saints in worship, rebuffing Protestant criticism. A broader taste for tension and emotional impact is represented by two paintings by Rembrandt, and various others including an important yet anonymous Moses Striking Water from the Rock. These works are set against examples presenting a concomitant plea for peace and harmony, in themes such as The Good Samaritan that reached across religious divides to assert commonly-held values.