The Baroque period

Topics: Baroque, Rome, Baroque music Pages: 8 (2706 words) Published: January 17, 2014
International University of Sarajevo
History of Architecture II
The Baroque Period
The historic period which came after Renaissance and changed the worldwide picture in all areas was Baroque. It started in Rome in 16th century (1550-1640) in time when people were exploring the world around them. Baroque, which comes from the French word “baroque” and the Portuguese word “barroco”, mean deformed and misshaped. In a sense baroque is an appropriate term to describe this new form of ideas in time. The greatest role in the various expressions of baroque art had a religion. The Reformation of the mid-1500's divided Europe into Catholic countries and Protestant countries. In most Protestant countries, including Germany and England, art was considered as an unnecessary luxury and was suppressed. But in one Protestant country, Netherlands, an entirely new kind of art was created. It was based on the routines of everyday life, and it was still following the Calvinist doctrine of banning images that depicted religious subjects. In Catholic countries such as Italy, Spain, and France, it was different. Painters and sculptors continued the long-standing practice of using biblical stories as their primary subject matter. Some historians said that as a part of its campaign against the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church demanded artists to create emotionally appealing paintings and sculptures that everyone could understand. The Roman Catholic Church wanted to produce new art that displayed intensity and greatness of scale, and it was meant to evoke passion and emotions. Baroque offered inspiration for artists who appeared a generation later; sculptors like Bernini and painters like Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer. The painters, sculptors and architects considered to work in the Baroque style displayed strong emotions in their work. Painters used rich color, intense light and dark shadows and they depicted scenes at the height of dramatic tension. Straight lines became bent, oval shapes began to arch and the emergence of ornaments began to cover plain surfaces. In sculpture, a new dynamism appeared in the human statues form. In architecture of this period buildings with massive columns, large arches, domes and impressive empty spaces became the trend. Sculptors, designed the large furniture and interiors were extravagantly furnished with rich tapestries, silks, gold and silver. Baroque era is sometimes divided in three phases: 12 1. Early baroque ( 1590-1625)

2. High baroque (1625-1660)
3. Late baroque - Rococo (1660-1725)

Baroque in Italy:
Since the Baroque was established in Italy, it’s logical that the most beautiful examples of this period derived from here: some of the beauties buildings, paintings and sculptures. Elements of this period are visible in almost every part of art and architecture. Baroque in Italy was the most visible in three areas: paintings, sculptures and architecture. Italian baroque painting:

Caravaggio was one of the first Baroques painters. His paintings included realistically-depicted human figures, a vivid use of color, and extensive use of foreshadowing techniques. The most stunning characteristic of Caravaggio’s painting is his use of chiaroscuro, an extreme contrast between light and dark values. “Saint Jerome writing “


Italian Baroque sculpture:
Baroques sculptures are important and interesting because of their static forms. They were made in sense of movement, and visible from multi viewpoints. Also, they were built by soft marble. The most famous sculptor was Bernini, and his works are visible today.3 ”St. Theresa in Ecstasy”

Italian Baroque architecture:
Renewal in architecture started with Baroque. Italians were the first to come up with Baroque architecture, they became very interested in the surroundings of their buildings. They placed elaborate gardens around places. They set off important buildings in the cities by open...

References: 1. Anthony Blunt: Art and Architecture in France (1999)
2. A. Blunt, Art and Architecture in France, (1953)
3. R. Wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, (1958)
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