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Three of the most eye-catching creations of Spanish Baroque are the energetic facades of the University of Valladolid (Diego Tome and Fray Pedro de la Visitación, 1719), the western façade (or Fachada del Obradoiro) of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Fernando de Casas y Novoa, 1750), and the Hospicio de San Fernando in Madrid (Pedro de Ribera, 1722), whose curvilinear extravagance seems to herald Antonio Gaudí and Modernisme. In this case as in many others, the design involves a ...
Baroque Architecture. The reign of Felipe II coincided with the highest point in the fortunes of the Spanish Empire, on the rise ever since the discovery of the New World, back in 1492. Internally, many were the changes undergone in the social sphere, as the prudent king chose to move the court from the historical capital, Toledo, to Madrid, and to embark on the construction of El Escorial, which would launch Juan de Herrera, its architect, into fame and would put the country on the ...
- The Hospice of San Fernando
- Baroque Architecture
- Characteristics of Spanish Baroque Architecture
Take a look at the above picture. This facade almost looks like the stage for a theatrical play, there is such an abundance of decoration that it might even be considered excessive by many, but during the 18th century, this was the trend for churches and public buildings all over Spain and Europe. This was the Baroque architecture, so let's have a deeper look into this unique architectural style.
After the Renaissance, the Baroque appeared in Italy as a new artistic and architectonic style meant to exhibit the power of the Catholic Church. Its most defining feature was the abundance of ornaments. Baroque expressions began in Italy in the early seventeenth century and from there, quickly spread throughout Europe. Baroque architecture developed in Spain between the mid-seventeenth century and the eighteenth century. The Baroque style was the guideline and reference for new constructions and urban planning throughout all the Spanish Empire of that time, so we also see the Baroque influence in colonial architecture in Latin America and the Philippines.
Baroque in Spain developed essentially as a regional style, with important variations when compared to other countries in Europe. The golden age of Spain had come to an end and the country faced an economic decay, losing influence as a major power in Europe. Because of this, we often see that construction projects had a very long time span and were usually completed by an architect other than the one who started it. Economic difficulties also lead to the use of humble materials. Brick was used for most of the construction, and better materials like stone were reserved for ornaments like windows framing and key elements such as facades of main entrances. In Spain, we see a limited use of noble materials like marble and bronze, widely used during the Baroque in other parts of Europe.
- The Development of Baroque in Spain
- Comparisons to Northern Europe
- Notable Examples
Spanish Baroque is a strand of Baroque architecture that evolved in Spain and its provinces and former colonies, notably Spanish America and Belgium, in the late 17th century. As Italian Baroque influences spread across the Pyrenees Mountains, they gradually superseded in popularity the restrained classicalapproach of Juan de Herrera, which had been in vogue since the late 16th century. For example, by 1667, the facades of Granada Cathedral (by Alonso Cano) and Jaén Cathedral (by Eufrasio López de Rojas) suggest the artists' fluency in interpreting traditional motifs of Spanish cathedral architecture in the Baroque aesthetic idiom. In Madrid, a vernacular Baroque with its roots in Herrerian and in traditional brick construction was developed in the Plaza Mayor and in the Royal Palace of El Buen Retiro, which was destroyed during the French invasion by Napoleon's troops. Its gardens still remain as El Retiro park. This sober brick Baroque of the 17th century is still well represented...
In contrast to the art of Northern Europe, the Spanish art of the period appealed to the emotions rather than seeking to please the intellect. The Churriguera family, which specialized in designing altars and retables, revolted against the sobriety of the Herrerian classicism and promoted an intricate, exaggerated, almost capricious style of surface decoration known as the Churrigueresque. Within half a century, they transformed Salamanca into an exemplary Churrigueresque city. Between 1680 and 1720, the Churriguera popularized Guarini's blend of Solomonic columns and composite order, known as the "supreme order. " Between 1720 and 1760, the Churrigueresque column, or estipite, in the shape of an inverted cone or obelisk was established as a central element of ornamental decoration.
Examples of the most eye-catching creations of Spanish Baroque are the energetic façades of the University of Valladolid (Diego Tome and Fray Pedro de la Visitación, 1719) and the western façade (or Fachada del Obradoiro) of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Fernando de Casas y Novoa, 1750). In these examples, as in many others, the Churrigueresque design involves a play of tectonic and decorative elements with little relation to structure and function. The focus of the florid ornamentation is an elaborately sculptured surround to a main doorway. If one removed the intricate maze of broken pediments, undulating cornices, stucco shells, inverted tapers, and garlands from the rather plain wall it is set against, the building's formwould not be affected in the slightest. At the same time, Churrigueresque baroque offered some of the most impressive combinations of space and light. Buildings like Granada Charterhouse (by Francisco Hurtado Izquierdo), considered to be the highest e...
Baroque architecture and colonialism are closely linked. European colonialism helped fund some of the opulence seen in Baroque buildings. Particularly in Spain and France, colonial money helped rulers construct elaborate palaces and mansions to showcase their power.
Spanish Baroque is a strand of Baroque architecture that evolved in Spain and its provinces and former colonies, notably Spanish America and Belgium, in the late 17th century.
Baroque Spanish Architecture Baroque is a style of architecture that came to Spain from nearby Italy in the 16th Century. A vernacular form of the style was then developed and is the style of architecture that one can see at the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.
Baroque architecture was introduced in Spain in the late sixteenth century and runs throughout much of the seventeenth century in a restrained and austere way if we compare it with the Italian baroque. Buildings are built with poor materials and with a grim looking.
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