METRO PLUS

Lens view of Baroque art

BAROQUE IS a style of art associated with the Catholic Counter Reformation of the 17th Century. Noted for its grandeur, sensuousness and emotional exuberance, the art flourished mostly in the Catholic countries of Europe.

In France, the Baroque found its greatest expression in the service of the monarchy rather than the church. Realising the importance of art as propaganda medium, Louis XIV promoted the idea of his regal glory and his palace at Versailles with its grandiose combination of architecture, sculpture, painting and decoration.

However today the term, `Baroque' is applied to any art that shows the qualities of vigorous movement and emotional intensity.

Lens view of Baroque art

A collection of photographs on Baroque art by renowned photographer Ferrante Ferranti is currently underway at the Alliance Francaise Gallery. The exhibition is a result of Ferranti's research in churches in countries such as Brazil, Portugal and India where Catholicism has blended with the local forms.

Be it his photographs on the painted angles in Saint Francesco church, the saint Francis of Assisi Basilique in Goa, the stairway of the five senses in the sanctuary of Bom Jesus, the view of the churches in mist, or the photograph of the veiled Christ, Ferranti successfully recreates the images with his lens through a mix of light and shadow, a style quite reminiscent of the Italian artist Caravaggio. (Caravaggio was one of the leading exponents of the Baroque tradition, who ushered in solidity and weightiness to Italian painting.) His collection also includes ancient temples of Hampi, a mosque of Badami and Delhi's Jantar Mantar.

Born in 1960 to an Algerian mother and a Sicilian father, Ferranti turned a photographer after studying architecture in Paris. He has published numerous works on the rediscovery of Baroque religious art heritage. His works have been exhibited in many galleries in France and other countries.

The Exhibition is on till March 31, from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm. For details contact Alliance Francaise Gallery, 24, College Road. Ph: 28279803/1477.

SANGEETH KURIAN

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