Art is a cornerstone of the culture of any place and defines the appearance and the character of a place. Learning about the art of a place helps to bring about a new understanding and adds a new quality to a trip.
The Baroque Movement
The Baroque movement was an artistic style that was popular in Europe from around the year 1600 till the middle of the eighteenth century.
The movement owes its beginnings to the reformation movement that had swept much of Europe. This movement began with Martin Luther, when he nailed his ninety five theses to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral in 1517. The main object of Lutherís criticism was the Cathoic church, and in particular Rome. His main criticisms were the churchís corruption and the expensive art which he saw as displays of wealth and a form of idolatry. The church reacted to this in the middle of the sixteenth century by cutting down on spending and entering a new period of austerity. However, by the end of the century, the church flt that they had seen off the worst of the crisis and were feeling triumphant. They reflected this in their extravagant art, the style that later scholars would call Baroque. Whilst Protestants rejected the use of images as a form of idolatry, the Catholics saw an importance in them and used them to celebrate their religion.
The Savoyard Baroque style is found in the high Alpine valleys of the old Duchy of Savoie, particularly in the churches. As with the Baroque movement as a whole, the Savoyard Baroque style was,in many ways, a celebration. From 1536 the areas of Chablais, Faucigny and Northern Geneva had been occupied by Protestant Bernese troops, bringing their religion with them. Following the treaty of Lausanne in 1564 and the treaty of Thonon in 1569 the area was returned to the Kingdom of Sardinia, and Catholicism was restored. After this the Savoyard Baroque style began to emerge. Techniques were learnt from neighbouring Italian states as well as France and Spain to create a unique style. There are eighty buildings that have been chosen by the Facim Foundation as well as the Savoie General Council as representing this style. The closest to Les Gets are the Church Saint Gervais et Saint Protais in Mieussy and the decoration in the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Morzine.