- Francis Ching described baroque architecture as “a style of architecture originating in Italy in the early seventeenth century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, dynamic opposition and interpenetration of spaces, and the dramatic combined effects of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts.”
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of the Baroque, the idea of movement, into architecture, by its very nature the most static of all the arts. And indeed, once discovered, the undulating motif was not confined to walls. The idea of giving movement to an architectural element in the form of more or less regular curves and counter-curves
- Roman Baroque
- French Baroque
- Early English Baroque
- Later English Baroque
- Northern and Central European Baroque
As the Catholic Church found itself in need of a way to proactively manifest its influence and regain lost souls all over Europe, it turned renewed attention to church architecture, requiring new churches to appeal as much to the emotions as to the intellect of the faithful, ultimately persuading them into unconditional trust and faith in the Catholic Church. To achieve this goal, the very act of approaching and stepping into a church had to become more of an experience; one that would envelope the faithful in Catholic symbolism and mystery. What resulted from these requirements was an architectural vocabulary that allowed for very dynamic designs, often employing a mixture of repetition, breaking-up, and distortion of Renaissance classical motifs. Due to an almost playful way of handling these abstracted or exaggerated elements — like broken pediments, giant orders, and convex and concave walls — baroque architects were able to express their very personal ideas and styles to a degr...
Contrary to Rome’s drastic, reform-driven change in style, French architecture in the 17th century transitioned between Renaissance and its own interpretation of the Baroque more naturally, although the driving force behind the change was the same desire to reaffirm the claim to power of the ruling party — namely the monarchs of the House of Bourbon. Among their first commissions were a number of places and squares with statues of the sovereign that were meant to provide housing for the aristocracy all over Paris. In 1605, work on the first of the five Parisian “Place Royale” began and concluded in 1612. Known today as the Place des Vosges, it heralded the idea of the uniform residential square dominated by house fronts all built to the same design. In total, the square is lined with 36 three-storied townhouses resting on a circumferential arcade, all executed in the Brique-et-Pierre style, which is characterized by the combination of brickwork, quoins of ashlar and slate covered ro...
The beginning of the English Barqoue period was heralded by a major catastrophe: the Great Fire of London in 1666. It raged for four days (2-5 September 1666) in the medieval City of London inside the old Roman city wall, and destroyed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul’s Cathedral and most of the buildings of the City authorities. But like any great catastrophe, the fire provided the opportunity to start with a clean slate and begin a remodeling after the great baroque examples seen in France and Italy. Some of the best architects, cartographers and landscapers submitted plans, which would have transformed London into a truly contemporary city structured by squares, radiating avenues and striking vistas. Unfortunately, this ambitious plan never came to fruition due to insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles, and so the city was rebuild on its only slightly altered old medieval street plan. As part of a series of acts that were passed for rebuilding the City of London, particul...
After Wren’s death in 1723, a new generation of architects emerged, some of whom even came from amid the ranks of his former employees. Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736) had been employed by Christopher Wren from the age of 18 and assisted him until 1718. Chelsea Hospital, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace and Greenwich Hospital were among the most renowned works erected during this time. Later in his life, Hawksmoor collaborated with John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) on a number of important projects including Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace. Vanbrugh was a rather infamous character; a dramatist who had been incarcerated on a charge of espionage in the Bastille and a member of the Kit-Cat Club, he turned architect at the age of 35. Both Hawksmoor’s and Vanbrugh’s works are characterized by a progressive rejection of Wren’s subtle Baroque in the style of the French classicism, in favor of a bolder and more masculine style derived from the Palladianism of Inigo Jones. The whole idea...
The spread of the Baroque across northern and central Europe began in the second half of the 17th century and was defined by the prevailing state religion and political system. Accordingly, there was either an influence of Roman baroque or French classicism to be found at the heart of most any building project. European Catholic cities, in particular, were keen on emulating the sculptural plasticity of the Roman baroque in their ecclesiastical commissions, while most royal palaces and residences were clearly influenced by the exmaple set by Versailles.
Even though Versailles was considered a beacon of style and copied countless times, it was flawed in one particular regard. Its scale and purpose as a public government apparatus meant that it was not a pleasent home to live in. This fact was most apparent to the architects who were commissioned to develop the numerous town houses and hôtels of the Parisian nobility. Therefore, men like Just-Auèle Meissonnier, Gilles-Marie Openordt, Nicolas Pineau, and Germain Boffrand developed interior designs that embraced the more intimate scale and lay the emphasis on a comfortable arrangement of rooms. They focused the decoration on light, frivolous, and colorful schemes, often allowing panels, doorframes, walls and the ceiling of a room to merge and dissolved into one richly ornamented encapsulating sphere. The term rococo once again originated in nature, with the French term rocaillebeing a portmanteau of the words “roc” (rock) and “coquille” (shell).
Overview of Baroque Art and Architecture The origin of the term Baroque is a bit ambiguous. Many scholars think it was derived from the Portuguese barrocco, meaning an imperfect or irregularly shaped pearl.
Jul 22, 2019 · Italian Baroque Architecture Some architecture is calm, rational and geometric, but in Rome, Italy, beginning in the late 16th century, a style developed that was none of those things. It distorted...
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A defining statement of what baroquesignifies in painting is provided by the series of paintings (one of which is above) executed by Peter Paul Rubens for Marie de Medici at the Luxembourg Palace in Paris (now at the Louvre), in which a Catholic painter satisfied a Catholic patron: baroque-era conceptions of monarchy, iconography, handling of paint, and compositions as well as the depiction of space and movement. Baroque style featured “exaggerated lighting, intense emotions, release from restraint, and even a kind of artistic sensationalism.” Baroque art did not really depict the life style of the people at that time; however, “closely tied to the Counter-Reformation, this style melodramatically reaffirmed the emotional depths of the Catholic faith and glorified both church and monarchy” of their power and influence. There were highly diverse strands of Italian baroque painting, from Caravaggio to Cortona; both approaching emotive dynamism with different styles. Another frequently...
In baroque sculpture, groups of figures assumed new importance and there was a dynamic movement and energy of human forms—they spiraled around an empty central vortex, or reached outwards into the surrounding space. For the first time, baroque sculpture often had multiple ideal viewing angles. The characteristic baroque sculpture added extra-sculptural elements, for example, concealed lighting, or water fountains. Aleijadinho in Brazil was also one of the great names of baroque sculpture, and his master work is the set of statues of the Santuário de Bom Jesus de Matosinhosin Congonhas. The soapstone sculptures of old testament prophets around the terrace are considered amongst his finest work. The architecture, sculpture and fountains of Bernini (1598–1680) give highly charged characteristics of baroque style. Bernini was undoubtedly the most important sculptor of the baroque period. He approached Michelangelo in his omnicompetence: Bernini sculpted, worked as an architect, painted,...
In baroque architecture, new emphasis was placed on bold massing, colonnades, domes, light-and-shade (chiaroscuro), ‘painterly’ color effects, and the bold play of volume and void. In interiors, baroque movement around and through a void informed monumental staircases that had no parallel in previous architecture. The other baroque innovation in worldly interiors was the state apartment, a sequence of increasingly rich interiors that culminated in a presence chamber or throne room or a state bedroom. The sequence of monumental stairs followed by a state apartment was copied in smaller scale everywhere in aristocratic dwellings of any pretensions. Baroque architecture was taken up with enthusiasm in central Germany (see, e.g., Ludwigsburg Palace and Zwinger, Dresden), Austria and Russia (see, e.g., Peterhof). In England the culmination of baroque architecture was embodied in work by Sir Christopher Wren, Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, from ca. 1660 to ca. 1725. Many exampl...
In theater, the elaborate conceits, multiplicity of plot turns and a variety of situations characteristic of Mannerism, in Shakespeare’s tragedies for instance, were superseded by opera, which drew together all the arts into a unified whole. Theater evolved in the baroque era and became a multimedia experience, starting with the actual architectural space. In fact, much of the technology used in current Broadway or commercial plays was invented and developed during this era. The stage could change from a romantic garden to the interior of a palace in a matter of seconds. The entire space became a framed selected area that only allows the users to see a specific action, hiding all the machinery and technology – mostly ropes and pulleys. This technology affected the content of the narrated or performed pieces, practicing at its best the Deus ex Machina solution. Gods were finally able to come down – literally – from the heavens and rescue the hero in the most extreme and dangerous, ev...
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Mar 31, 2013 · The style of Baroque architecture can be defined and express through the more detailed elements added to the previous style of Renaissance. The basic design of the architecture is similar, consisting of geometric shapes with symmetrical designs of façades and both exterior and interior structure.
Jul 25, 2019 · The Baroque period in architecture and art in the 1600s and 1700s was an era in European history when decoration was highly ornamented and classical forms of the Renaissance were distorted and exaggerated.
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