Baroque 1600 ( 17th – 18th Century )

Baroque style was born in Italy and spread in all Europe. It was divided into three periods: Early Baroque, High Baroque, Late Baroque.

Baroque angel detail
Baroque angel detail

Image source: https://in.pinterest.com/olfi77/baroque/

The origin of the term

The term Baroque derived from Italian barocco, which philosophers used  in the Middle Ages to describe errors in logic schemes. Later on the word came to denote any contorted idea or complicated thoughts. Another possible origin of this word comes from the Portuguese barroco (Spanish barrueco), used to talk about an imperfectly shaped pearl. This way of using this word still survives in the jeweler’s term baroque pearl.


Baroque Console
Baroque Console

Image source: http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/209244

Architecture

Baroque architects conceived buildings as a single mass to be shaped according to particular requirements. On the facade elements like columns and pilasters are linked in various ways to the centre. The facade looks divided horizontally, it is in fact organized vertically. St. Peter in Vatican City is an important example of this style. It was finished in 1615 under Paul V. It is was projected with three-aisled Latin cross with a dome at the crossing, above the altar covering the shrine of St. Peter the Apostle. The edifice is a key pilgrimage site.

St Peter's Basilica
St Peter’s Basilica

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Basilica

The interior of St. Peter’s features masterpieces from the Renaissance period and Baroque art. The most famous are Michelangelo’s Pietà, the baldachin made by Bernini over the main altar. The tomb of Urban VIII, and the cathedra of St. Peter in the apse are considered relevant too.

Bernini's Baldachin in St. Peter.
Bernini’s Baldachin in St. Peter.

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Baldachin

Baroque Design Characteristics

As all other style Baroque has its own features:

  • Gilded frames were very used many times in paintings and mirrors and usually featured several cartouches, carved flowers and sculpted figures.
  • Italian furniture of this period featured raised lids, often were decorated with carved leaves and figures.
Italian cassone
Italian cassone

Image source: http://wolfsgallery.com/collection/an-italian-baroque-walnut-table-cassone-18th-century

  • Decorations were sumptuous. Carved wood was often gilded with gold or bronze, and legs for example in tables were caryatids or muscular figures, made to show up as if they were sustaining the marble slab put on top.
Baroque Venetian Console Side Table
Baroque Venetian Console Side Table

Image source: http://culturemechanism.blogspot.it/2013/09/baroque-furniture.html

  • Segments and strapwork ware used and were also included new key characteristics such as pilasters, panels forming arches and pietra dura designs. Many religious or mythological themes were painted inside the panels to improve the decorations of the object.
Baroque Cabinet
Baroque Cabinet

Image source: https://www.pinterest.it/pin/437060338814114000/

  • Commodes, for example, were made of walnut or oak,pearl, jewels and ivory, to form up allegorical stories. They were decorated, most of the times, with angels, animals, leaves. They were also called lion commodes due to their feet at the bottom of the drawer recalling the animal.
Baroque Commode
Baroque Commode

Image source: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cfurn/hd_cfurn.htm

  • Tables varied greatly during the period, but were usually made of gilded wood, oak or walnut. Large tables were elonged, rich and grandiloquent, while smaller ones were ornate and featured carved geometrical forms.
High Baroque Table
High Baroque Table

Image source: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cfurn/hd_cfurn.htm

Baroque Sculpture

The Cornaro Chapel is a famous Baroque Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome. It houses one of Bernini’s most ambitious masterpieces: The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. It represents a mini-theatre. Illumination comes from a hidden window at the rear of the altar. Divine light descends upon the agitated Teresa at the apex of her spiritual ecstasy. Sculpted in white marble, she is surrounded by gilt bronze representing the divine light.

Ecstasy of St.Teresa, Bernini, Rome, Italy

Image source: https://www.wikiart.org/en/gian-lorenzo-bernini/the-ecstasy-of-st-teresa-1652

Info source: https://www.britannica.com/art/Baroque-art-and-architecture

http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/history-of-art/baroque-architecture.htm

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Saint-Peters-Basilica

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Baroque_interior_design

http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/sculpture/baroque-sculpture.htm#sculptures

http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/sculpture/baroque-sculpture.htm#sculptures

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