Season 2006 Baroque man

He enters a space in which the old relationships no longer hold true. Copernicus inspired astronomy, Galileo sent a lightening bolt between faith and science and Gryphius wrote for a Europe of the absurd: 
»You err by simply living; the quite closed off path / lets no-one walk properly... You err ... « 
And that is just the beginning. Hamlets shoot up out of the ground like mushrooms. Do they suspect that the crisis is of great magnitude? Montaigne strays into the wrong historical time. The "I" in his texts, is already twofold, a composition of the self and God. His "Essais" prepared the way for an epochal change. Writing was no longer to be out of gratitude or a sacrifice but rather an attempt by the author to consolidate his central ego. The human comes to the fore, man's intellectual freedom, his desire for power, recognition and happiness. The ego's remorseful awareness of sin is already starting to fade. But where there is war, and has been for decades, and where man has pushed back national boundaries and hosts of stars, fear and unrest are not unlikely emotions. It is a time for places of refuge, formulae of hope and religious teachings of salvation and mercy. Jesuits and Jansenists develop rigorous sets of rules. Stacks of instructions on how to obtain mercy are produced.
Grief, deep thought and melancholy are the baroque moods in which artists, philosophers and politicians of the seventeenth century labour to create new formats. Their legacy: tragedies, liturgical compositions, erotic comedies, baroque sonnets and Atlantis variations (Bohemia near the sea). All are projects in which the paradoxes of our present day can be found mirrored. Whether loud or quiet, tragic or comical – what always shines through is the drastic fear of losing everything: ones own self, love and possessions. The Flemish painter and diplomat Peter Paul Rubens's direct, sharp comment on all this can be found in footnote format at the bottom of his great tableau »The Consequences of War« .
The main protagonist in this cover illustration of the conditions in Europe during the Thirty Years War is Mars, surrounded by amoretti, gods of love, a fury with a burning torch and the common people seeking cover from his bloody sword. A woman crouches down backwards amongst the results, chaos and profusion. She has apparently fallen down. Her arm clasps a broken lute protectively. Her head is turned to look back over her shoulder, her eyes stare at the fury of war that is just trampling on an open book. Her steady gaze at the menacing violence of this movement has to be our gaze too. Art turns her countenance to face catastrophes. And that is just the beginning.