Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Here's a lovely shot from flickr.com of Weltenberg Abbey, a gem of the Bavarian Baroque. It strikes me as example of the style which has, to my eye, a more robust and even masculine feel to it, rather than the pink-and-white one more normally associates (rightly or wrongly) with the period. The genius of the Baroque is revealed here by the dramatic and inventive use of hidden light to create, in the altarpiece, a very literal window into heaven that silhouettes the silver-and-gold silhouette of a mounted St. George.

What Gothic suggests, in a hieratic or diagrammatic way, through gilded backdrops reflecting heavenly light, Baroque literally incarnates through the use of light itself as a medium. Highly-ornamented it is, but every element of it is there for a reason, and intimately related to the hierarchy of light, decoration and materials that revolves around the fixed point of the high altar.

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