Understanding Art: Baroque & Rococo
Documentary | Special Interest
Hollywood directors have drawn inspiration from airy baroque paintings of the 17th century, while Elvis Presley's coif owes a debt to rococo's freewheeling 18th-century aesthetic. In companion documentaries, art critic Waldemar Januszczak takes a wild ride across Europe to show how these diverse but equally powerful art movements continue to reverberate today. In Baroque! From St. Peter's to St. Paul's, Januszczak follows the trajectory of baroque from its beginnings as a Vatican-sanctioned religious art style to its ascendance as the first global art movement. In Rococo before Bedtime, he pulls back the gilded façade of rococo to reveal the deep imprint it left on politics, culture, religion, and even America's Declaration of Independence. The irrepressible Januszczak gets up close and personal to his subject-from walking St. Peter's sprawling colonnade in Rome to exploring the subterranean haunts of Britain's Hellfire Club-as he sheds light on the cultural forces and psychological turmoil that drove the art.