What is Baroque Art? Definition, Concept and Characteristics


We explain that what is Baroque Art? its definition, concept and characteristics in detail. Baroque art definition


Definition of Baroque Art Baroque art definition

The Baroque art  began as a continuation of the Renaissance. However, scholars of the time began to see the drastic differences between the two styles, and also, how the Renaissance style gave way to Baroque art. Likewise, both Baroque architecture, sculpture and painting have a dramatic character. Therefore, they were powerful tools in the hands of the religious and secular absolutism that flourished in the service of the Catholic Church and Catholic monarchies. Hence, Baroque artists focused particularly on natural forms, spaces, colors, and lights. As well as in the relationship between the observer and the literary subject or portrait to produce a strong, almost muted emotional experience. We invite you to read and learn more about this important art below. Baroque art definition


What is Baroque Art?

Today, baroque art is considered one of the greatest artistic statements that encompassed various movements, both political and religious as well as social. As the vast majority will know, Baroque art is a continuation of an artistic movement called Italian Mannerism that spans until the middle of the 16th century. Baroque art definition


The baroque as an artistic movement is recognized as one of the most complex artistic styles that abandons all that classical serenity, which on the other hand characterized Mannerism, and begins to manifest in his works the agitation and movement of all the senses. For this reason, baroque art is considered a trend of ostentation and exaggeration.

The Baroque art was created at the time of the Renaissance and neoclassicism before. It began to become popular in Italy and then spread to the rest of Europe. Similarly, the Baroque is a cultural movement, an artistic style developed between the seventeenth century and the middle of the eighteenth century, reaching various disciplines such as architecture, painting, music and literature. Likewise, the characteristic that defines it the most is excessive ornamentation. Baroque art definition

Origin of Baroque art Baroque art definition

The Baroque art in architecture the Baroque art emerged as a style promoted mainly by the Catholic Church since the reformist ideas and rationalists tried to put aside religion not only in artistic spaces but also in the daily lives of individuals. To talk about the origin of Baroque art we have to differentiate two things: political and religious causes and psychological and social causes.

Political and religious causes : Possibly today all people know of Baroque art as a counter-Reformation art. The Catholic Church to act against Protestantism, ordered the construction of various temples with an excess of sculpture. In addition not only that but it demanded that the artists stay away from creating works with pagan themes and therefore they had to avoid nudes or disturbing scenes. With strict and conservative rules, what we call Baroque was developed. Baroque art definition

The psychological and social causes : in the seventeenth century life was full of pain and death due to the appearance of war. With this new need, the Baroque artist tries to experiment with art until giving rise to movement and color, which is why the works of that century try to convey an agitation and a love for life represented in a dramatic way. With this new need to experience baroque art, it began to be characterized by the use of the “play of shadows” and magnificent and spectacular decoration.

Definition of Baroque Art

In Fine Arts, the term Baroque is derived from the Portuguese ‘barocco’ which means, pearl or irregular stone and describes a rather complex language, originating in Rome, which flourished during the period between 1590 and 1720, which includes painting and sculpture as well as architecture.

After the idealism of the Renaissance (1400-1530) and the nature of Mannerism (1530-1600), Baroque art reflects above all the religious tensions of the time. In particular the desire of the Catholic Church in Rome (already announced in the Council of Trent, 1545-63), to reaffirm itself at the root of the Protestant Reformation. Therefore it is almost synonymous with the Catholic art of the Counter-Reformation of the time. Baroque art definition

Many Catholic Emperors and Kings in Europe played an important part in the success of the Catholic Church, therefore a large number of architectural designs, paintings and sculptures were commissioned by the royal courts of Spain, France and elsewhere, in parallel to the global campaign of Catholic Christian art, persecuted by the Vatican, in order to glorify its own divine greatness, in the process of strengthening its political position. By comparison, baroque art in Protestant areas like Holland had much less religious content and was instead essentially designed to appeal to the growing aspirations of the merchants and middle classes.

To fulfill its role as a propagandist, Catholic-inspired Baroque art used to be large works of public art, such as monumental wall paintings and huge frescoes on the ceilings and vaults of churches and palaces. Thus, baroque painting illustrates the fundamental elements of Catholic dogma, either directly in biblical works, or indirectly in mythological or allegorical compositions. Along with this monumental, magnanimous approach, painters typically portray a strong sense of movement, using upward spiral and diagonal swirls and strong sumptuous colors, to dazzle and amaze.

Likewise, new techniques of tenebrism and chiaroscuro were developed to improve the environment. The broad, creamy brushstroke often results in thick fillings. However, the theatricality and melodrama of Baroque painting was not well received by later critics, such as the influential John Ruskin (1819-1900), who considered them false. In Baroque sculpture, the size was typically larger, characterized by a similar feeling of dynamic movement, coupled with active use of space.

Characteristics of Baroque Art

Representation of feelings and emotions more than by the mere imitation of the reality that surrounded the artists of the time.

The works in Baroque art   include religious themes that had been neglected by the Renaissance and seek to represent them in a highly expressive way.

They have a strong sense of movement, energy and tension.

Strong contrasts of light and shadow enhance the scenographic effects of many paintings, sculptures and architectural works.

An intense spirituality that appears frequently in scenes of ecstasy, martyrdom and miraculous apparitions.

The hint of huge spaces is frequent in Baroque painting and sculpture; In both the Renaissance and the Baroque, painters always sought the correct representation of space and perspective in their works.

Naturalism is another essential characteristic of Baroque art; the figures are not represented in the pictures as simple stereotypes but in an individualized way, with their own personality.

The artists sought the representation of inner feelings, passions and temperaments, magnificently reflected in the faces of their characters.

The intensity and immediacy, individualism and detail of Baroque art made it one of the most deeply rooted styles of Western art.

The buildings used to be built with poor materials but highlighting the majesty and monumentality of the work.

The Baroque Sculpture

In baroque art the themes tend to be more profane, mythological, where the nude acquires particular importance, the sculpture becomes urban, they appear in the streets, squares and fountains, integrated with the architecture.

Sculpture in the baroque period takes on a great decorative importance, this importance is due to the great dynamism and movement that it undergoes. The works of art represent slow, violent and exalted passions, with these representations great importance is given to heroic themes and new themes such as moral and religious themes are also introduced. It is characterized by its strength and monumentality, its compositional movement, its dynamism, projected outwards, in its diagonal compositions, its expressiveness and its treatment of clothing. Likewise, the main material for the sculpture will be polychrome wood and it is also characterized by great realism, although the main clients of the artists would be the Churches and that is why religious themes predominate.

In this sense, baroque sculpture also stands out for its complicated structure and dramatic vivacity. Likewise, baroque sculpture has as its main characteristic its great movement. Likewise, the images show violent, slow and exalted passions. Therefore, in baroque sculpture, the valorization of the heroic of Renaissance culture is evidenced as a result of the Counter-Reformation, the painting of El Greco and Caravaggio, which introduced new religious and moral content. What contributed to a radical renewal of figurative expression.

Below you will find a brief description of its most notable representatives.

Miguel Ángel : He was a great sculptor of the High Renaissance. His most outstanding work is composed by David and even earlier by the battles of Goliath. Michelangelo was part of the rise of the Italian Renaissance. Therefore, in the Renaissance, perfection, harmony of proportions, reason were defended. Likewise, it was an art based on science, logic and the contemplation of sculpture, from which Baroque Art is created.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini: He was a notable Baroque sculptor, who also made a baroque David surprised in the act of throwing a stone, highlighting in this magnificent sculpture the expression of David’s face. In this sculpture Baroque Art is evidenced, which was meant to evoke emotion and passion instead of the calm and rationality that had been appreciated during the Renaissance. Bernini was one of the greatest representatives of the Baroque production of Italy. So in his works, the Baroque is manifested, which prevailed for excesses, distortions, emotions, free artistic creation and the interaction of the viewer with the work. Thus, Bernini’s David, which is only 1 meter and 70 centimeters high (it is a life-size sculpture), was produced to occupy the living room of a palace, and it has its muscles (mainly the facial ones) fully contracted to accompany its movement of throwing the stone. His body twists in a spiral unthinkable for classic patterns (who always opted for the frontality of the image).

Baroque Painting

Baroque artists capture reality as it is seen with its imprecise limits, its forms that come and go, the inconsequential foreground objects, the foreshortenings and violent postures, the diagonal compositions that give the work great dynamism. The most used themes were religious, scenes of saints, mythological, portraits, both individual and group, and the still life emerged as a new theme. Therefore, in Baroque art there are two different aesthetics: tenebrism and eclecticism.

In gloomy , there is a phenomenon that consists of the violent collision of light against shadow, leaving the background in semi-darkness, while the scene remains in the foreground.

Eclecticism differs because it tries to save the classic taste within the new norm, being an effective and theatrical decorative aesthetic.

Characteristics of Baroque Painting

Baroque painting will be characterized by great expressiveness in terms of the figures shown and by the intense chiaroscuro difference. He will resort to the intensity of the colors and the use of shadows and lights that generate a powerful distinction in the spaces, the complex and even chaotic figures, the intense expression of the gazes. The painting took on an important and homogeneous role that was moving to different countries and with this extension it gave rise to the manifestation of two opposing ideas. With these contrary ideas we find the courtly, theatrical, luxurious and Catholic baroque and the second idea would be the bourgeois baroque that in his works would manifest a normal and real life.

Most Outstanding Artists in Baroque Painting

José de Ribera : born in 1591. His favorite subjects are the scenes of martyrdom and penitents with a very dramatic dark style with great realism. His works take great realism with a mastery of drawing and extraordinary color, as an example we have the Pieta. Later it will have an Illuminist style, as an example is the Immaculate Conception. See biography of José de Ribera

Diego Velázquez : he was born in 1599. His first stage was gloomy and he made still lifes of great realism such as La Vieja friendo egg, El aguaador. Felipe IV appointed him a chamber painter and he dedicated himself to painting portraits, mythological subjects, historical paintings and landscapes. He has a masterful command of aerial perspective, light, drawing and bright colors with loose brushstrokes. As an example we have Los borrachos, La Venus del Espejo, Las hilanderías, but his masterpiece was Las Meninas. You can see Velázquez’s biography

Francisco de Zurbarán : born in 1598. His style is gloomy and he painted religious themes of simple and static composition, he uses a firm drawing with a great study of the volume and with a rich color. He also paints ascetic and mystical still lifes and portraits of the divine of saints, as an example we have Santa Casilda and Santa Margarita. You can see here the biography of Francisco de Zurbarán

Bartolomé E. Murillo : he was born in 1617. He had a dark youthful first phase, with a luminous style. He is very successful as a painter of graceful, delicate and sweet religious subjects, rich in color, loose and flowing. We have as an example outstanding works such as his Immaculate, The Children of the Shell, Children eating fruit. You can see here Murillo’s biography.

Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio : Considered one of the best and great painters of the Baroque, of Italian origin. This painter made works in Rome, Sicily, Naples and Malta between 1592 and 1610. What is remarkable about his paintings is that they are a combination of a realistic observation of the human state, both emotional and physical. Baroque art definition

Peter Paul Rubens . This painter was very prolific, and possibly the most famous, of the art of Baroque painting. His style reflects his great influence and relationship with Caravaggio and his works represent religious figures. What most differentiated Rubens’ art was the expression of extreme emotion, but with the smallest detail. However, his penchant for painting the female figure, curvilinear, must be recognized.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn . It is believed that this baroque painter had a great rivalry with the famous Rubens and is considered the leading artist in Holland. He was a penetrating painter of drawing, oil painting, and printmaking. Thus, Rembrandt’s baroque paintings depict biblical scenes, history, and self-portraits. He also painted landscapes and life stories of his contemporaries. Baroque art definition

Baroque Architecture

In Baroque art, architecture is frequently linked to urban planning. There are different very outstanding constructions such as the palace, a typical urban dwelling building for powerful families; the hotel that was a type of free and bourgeois single-family dwelling, surrounded by gardens; the temple which was a place of the sermon and the Eucharist. Baroque art definition

Baroque art develops a clearly ornate and detailed style, largely opposed to the simplicity of the Renaissance style. The main characteristic of the architecture of this period are the curved lines that create an effect of expressiveness and dynamism, seeking the use of all the available space with elements such as the curve and the counter-curve, in addition to the incredible sculptural decorations that did not leave space. Unfilled. With this new characteristic at this stage the facades take the main role in architecture and with it numerous columns and cornices appear. So, at this stage, architecture could be considered a style of architectural decoration. For this reason, in this period architecture stands out for its undulating surfaces, its interrupted connections and its oval floors.

Baroque Architecture in Latin America

The mixture of the Renaissance forms with the indigenous culture, gave rise to the first constructions in America that included hybrid Spanish and indigenous forms that gave rise to a characteristic architecture of the place. Baroque art definition

The baroque style had an important reception in Spanish-American architecture. Since, during this time, the peaceful acceptance of the Spaniards in the less warlike indigenous peoples, produces the ultra-baroque, due to the exaggeration of the forms and the very sui generis way of making the decorations. Likewise, the use of color is an important element of colonial baroque, evidenced by stone, white plastered brick, red oxide stain with a red oxide tone, polychrome plaster and tiles. As a characteristic example is the façade of the church of San Francisco de Ecatepec, where the interior is clearly visible with reddish bricks alternated with tiles.

In Peru, from an architectural point of view, baroque art is reflected in the smaller facades as well as in the framing of the towers. However, the vault is little used. In the same way, Solomonic columns are widely used, even on the facades. Among the most outstanding constructions, are the convents with two-story cloisters, noting that on the highest floor, the number of arches is doubled. Being one of the most outstanding works, the church of San Francisco de Quito, where it tries to repeat the exuberance of its interior on the outside, as well as the convents of La Merced, Santo Domingo, in Lima, that of San Agustín or San Francisco and the church of San Ignacio, in Quito.

In colonial homes in Latin America, the trends and influences of Baroque art still stand out today, due to their facades, which have large lattice windows on cantilevered ledges, with very long and simple walls, and between the windows there are pillars, which are for decoration only. Baroque art definition

The doors draw attention to the decorative detail, in different ways, including the family crest of those who inhabit the house, surrounded by plant elements, decorative pillars and capitals. Likewise, in the windows there are also bars that stand out on shelves topped by a dust remover with a wooden shutter, blinds and lattices. The bars can be made of wood or iron. In the two-story houses, the balconies represent very important decorations, standing out on the facades.

Baroque Literature

Baroque literature is a 17th century prose genre that has several distinctive characteristics compared to the literary styles of previous centuries. The Baroque era is characterized by the use of dramatic elements in all forms of art and works of Baroque literature are generally no exception.

Thus, the writers of this time period expanded and refined the use of allegories with multiple layers of meaning. Smaller-scale metaphors are also frequent marks of this genre, and many works of baroque literature focus on humanity’s struggle to find the deep meaning of existence. Baroque art definition

Many stories designated under the baroque literature approach are known to be richly detailed descriptions of characters and values ​​that reflect realistic life rather than fantasy worlds. Tales and novels of the baroque period therefore fall into the category of realism. Metaphors also became more prominent in the baroque, written under the inspiration of imaginative and speculative thought in the minds of readers. Various works of baroque literature were directed at various religious ideas because some baroque writers worked under the patronage of the church as did other types of artists.

In this sense, the Baroque era was the first period of time in which different artists were recognized as virtuous and various writers were included in this category. Scholars studying Baroque literature often took into account that they were addressing readers’ beliefs and assumptions more directly than other genres of earlier times.

Many stories from the Baroque period focused on the individual, rather than a collective group, a characteristic that reflects the changing attitudes during this time period. Therefore, baroque literature published in languages ​​other than Latin was also common, reflecting the importance of cultural identity, as well as increasing literacy rates among people who did not belong to the higher social and economic classes. .

How did Baroque Literature develop?

The main characteristics of the literary style known as Baroque are a great emphasis on originality and an overabundance of stylistic devices, especially metaphors, hyperbole, and antithesis. The purpose of a literary work in baroque literature was for the reader to evoke strong emotions in him. The Baroque worldview combines the religiosity of the Middle Ages with the ideas of the Renaissance (an interest in nature, history, and the individual). Baroque art definition

In the seventeenth century (the period known as late baroque), the number and refinement of stylistic devices increased. Hence the baroque in particular is mostly religious works created in the period that outnumbered secular works. The latter consisted in part of verse poetry, epos, short stories, and historical chronicles, while preaching, dramas, and treatises remained almost exclusively religious. Baroque art definition

This was due to the fact that the writers of the time were mainly members of the clergy and laity, since the patrons were few, since there was no secular school of higher education and the readers’ circles turned to Latin literature in order polishing your literary needs. These conditions led to an emphasis on religious works among Greek and Orthodox Catholics. The literary language of the time lacked any set of norms, since there was no authorized intellectual center to analyze and improve it.

The language of non-religious works absorbed some foreign elements, mainly Polish. Each author determines which elements of the vernacular or foreign languages ​​he would use. But there were secular works written in Church Slavonic and religious works written in Polish (Havrylo Dometsky). In the 18th century various elements of Russian entered the literary language. Baroque literature had a great influence on Russian literature from the 17th century to the middle of the 18th century. Thus, the church’s Russian language changed the influence of Ukrainian Church Slavonic on church discourse. Baroque art definition

Spanish Baroque Literature

The era of literature known as the Baroque in Spain occurred during a particularly difficult period in the country’s history. Most of the works during this period, the seventeenth century, coincide with the struggle of the human being and the reality of the miserable conditions that for many were enduring.

At that time, Spain was dealing with many issues related to its economy and its political system, such as the loss of control over the ownership of land and territories, as well as the poor leadership of the country’s rulers. It was not, however, a dark period for the writers of Spain, that some of the works are among the most prolific ever.

Characteristics of the Spanish Baroque Literary Style Baroque art definition

The Spanish Baroque literary style occurs in the 17th century and was known for its strong dose of realism, with a focus on real, everyday life in ordinary people. Therefore, in the works of the authors of the Spanish Baroque period these characteristics were observed:

The themes were of disappointment, disappointment and pessimism (usually a negative feeling).

Writing focused on issues that reflect the lack of confidence and belief that people had in the current political landscape.

The use of dramatic elements.

Focus on the daily struggles of humanity.

The use of satire, humor and exaggeration to draw attention to the social problems of the time.

A greater use of metaphors, and figures of speech to compare two different things

The use of conceptism, the art of using fast, ingenious, direct vocabulary.

The use in the works of Culteranismo, that is, the art of using an elaborate vocabulary (the opposite of Conceptism)

Very descriptive details of the characters in the play

A focus on the individual, rather than a group of people.

It is so, with these characteristics in mind, you will find some authors, with examples of their work and projects.

What is the importance of Baroque Literature? Baroque art definition

The popularity and success of the “Baroque” was encouraged by the Catholic Church which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent that art should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement. However, the German art historian Erwin Panofsky sums up the Baroque movement as complex, commenting on the downsides to the intricate style of the time. The aristocracy saw the dramatic baroque style of architecture and art as a means of impressing visitors and as an expression of triumphant power and control.

Similarly, baroque palaces are built around a sequence of entrances to courts, anterooms, grand staircases, and rooms of increasing and sequential magnificence. The magnanimously similar detail of art is glimpsed in the music, architecture and literature that inspired each other in the “Baroque” cultural movement with artists exploring to create repeating and varied patterns. Baroque art definition

What were the main representatives of Baroque Literature?

Baroque writers include John Milton, John Donne, and George Herbert. Although Shakespeare wrote his plays during this period (from 1592 until his death in 1616). This writer typically thought as a Renaissance man of letters. Well, although it shares some baroque characteristics such as similes and metaphors, it does not share religious themes. Baroque art definition

Representatives of Spanish Baroque Literature

The Baroque poet Luis de Góngora is well known in the use of Culteranismo, and his own elaborate style of writing, the style of Gongorismo. Góngora enjoys using many words and big words, even choosing to invent some as he went through the development of his work. Spanish culture still uses some of those words, such as the expression ‘composed of’ today, such as adolescent (adolescent) and brilliant (brilliant).

Some of Góngora’s most famous works are:

Of a Sick Walker Who Fell in Love Where He Was Hosted

To Jupiter

Don Francisco de Quevedo

Mrs. Doña Puente Segoviana

The Fable of Polyphemus and Galatea

Solitudes Baroque art definition

The last work on the list, Soledades, was never finished, drawing praise and criticism. In what became of this work, he stood out for his elaborate language, the use of metaphors and references to mythology. Thus, Góngora intended to write the work in four parts, but could not complete his task.

John Milton’s Paradise Lost was a famous baroque epic, written in blank verse. Satan serves as the protagonist of the book, and the epic deals with the fall of man. Baroque art definition

Marino’s “Maraviglia”, for example, is made practically in a pure, simple way. Everything was focused around the individual man, with a direct relationship between the artist, or directly between the art and the user, its client.

Here we briefly describe some of the most prominent Baroque writers.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)

He is studied as the greatest writer in the Spanish language, he was born in Alcalá de Henares in 1547. Don Quixote is his most outstanding work, considered the first modern novel. It is a classic of world literature and one of the most important works of fiction ever written. Such is its influence on the Spanish language that it is often called “the language of Cervantes.”

Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz (1651-1695)

She is a Mexican self-taught writer and philosopher, who was born in San Miguel Nepantla, an important Baroque poet. She is located as a Mexican writer and also as part of the Spanish Golden Age. One of his poems, which is long and philosophical, is called The Dream, the most studied of his works.

Jan Gawinski (1622-1684) Baroque art definition

Polish poet of the Baroque period, of the generation of the Sarmatians (the generation of John III Sobieski). He studied at Jagellon University and joined the court of Bishop Charles Ferdinand Vasa. The best known of his works are his Idylls, which glorified life in the Polish villas of Krakow.

Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmann Waldau (1616-1679)

German poet of the Baroque period, born and died in Breslau, became interested in politics in his youth, occupying the position of Bürgermeister. In life, his poems circulated in manuscript form. He was one of the most influential poets of the period, due to his gallant style of poetry with abundant use of extravagant metaphors as well as skillful use in rhetoric and eroticism.

Tobia Lionelli (1647-1714) Baroque art definition

This Italian writer and preacher made his sermons a preponderant affirmation of the Slovenian language. He belonged to the order of the Capuchin Friars Minor and served in various monasteries in Slovenian lands, including the monastery of Saint Francis of Assisi and in Croatia. He wrote about 230 sermons, which he published in a series of five books entitled: Sacrum promptuarium or The sacred manual.

Faustina Maratti (1679-1745)

This Italian poet and painter of the Baroque period, was born in Italy, in Rome. His education that included music, fine arts, and especially poetry. She married fellow poet Giambattista Felice Zappi, and their home was home to a renowned literary circle that included, among other poets, Händel, Scarlatti and Crescimbeni. In addition to other works, she wrote 38 sonnets published in the Rime collection belonging to her husband, in 1723.

John Milton (1608-1674)

English poet, faithful servant of the English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. Well known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, which he wrote between 1658 and 1664 when he was blind. He then wrote Paradise Regained, published in 1671 along with the tragedy Samson Agonistes. Baroque art definition

Dance and the Baroque Theater

In the theater, the elaborate concepts, the multiplicity of plot twists, and the variety of situations are characteristic of Mannerism (Shakespearean tragedies, for example), replaced by opera, which united all the arts into one whole.

The Theater in the Baroque period develops and becomes a multimedia experience, starting with the real architectural space. It is during this time of the baroque that most of the technologies that are currently seen in today’s Broadway or commercial performances, were invented and developed. The setting changes from a romantic garden to the interior of a palace in a matter of seconds. The entire space becomes a framed selected area that only allows users to see a specific action, hiding all machinery and technology, especially ropes and pulleys. Baroque art definition

These new abilities led to rich shows that feature their particularly elaborate opulence, such is the case with the operas, which remained faithful to the emotionally inverted baroque movement through heavy symbolism and grandeur to evoke emotion, while keeping narrative and story relatively simple.

Verisimilitude was the goal, little was going to leave to the imagination of the audience. This technology affects the content of the pieces narrated and made, practicing at its best, the solution of gods and machines. Thus, the gods were finally able to literally come down from the heavens and rescue the hero in the most extreme and dangerous, even absurd situation. In the term Theatrum Mundi, the world is also a created stage. The social and political realm in the real world is manipulated in exactly the same way as the actor and machines, limiting what is presented on stage, selectively hiding all the machinery that makes actions happen. Baroque art definition

There is a wonderful German documentary called Theatrum Mundi that clearly portrays the political reaches of the Baroque and its main representative, Louis XIV.

In this sense, the theater is a balanced view of the Baroque due to its ability to bring together many of its elements. From the architecture and structures created for production, the use of statues, paintings and other works of art as part of productions, to the use of baroque music in operas, all the pieces fit together and embody the baroque mentality.

Watching the biography film of Vatel (2000), Farinelli (1994) and the wonderful staging of Orfeo de Monteverdi at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, ​​you can see some wonderful re-enactments of this time period. American conductor William Christie and Les Arts Florissants have conducted extensive research throughout French Baroque opera, performing pieces by Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Jean-Baptiste Lully, among others, that are extremely faithful to the original creations of the 17th century. Baroque art definition

The Impact of Baroque Music

The term baroque is also used to designate the style of music composed during a period that coincides with baroque art, which encompasses the latter period. JS Bach and GF Handel are considered its culminating figures. It is a still debated question as to what degree of Baroque music shares aesthetic principles with the visual and literary arts of the Baroque period. A fairly clear and shared element is the love for ornamentation, and it is perhaps signifying the significant decline in the role of ornament in music and architecture that allowed the passage from the Baroque to the Classical period.

It should be noted that the application of the term “Baroque” to music is a relatively recent development. The first use of the word “Baroque” in music was only in 1919, by Curt Sachs, and it was not until 1940 that it was used in English (article published by Manfred Bukofzer). Even as late as 1960 there were considerable differences in academic circles on whether music as diverse as that of Jacopo Peri and François Couperin, Johann Sebastian Bach could be grouped under a single stylistic term. Baroque art definition

Many musical styles were born at that time, such as the concert and the symphony. Likewise, styles such as the sonata, cantata and oratory flourished. Also, the opera was born from the experimentation of the Florentine Camerata, the creators of monody, who tried to recreate the theatrical arts of the ancient Greeks. In fact, it is exactly this development that is often used to denote the beginning of the musical baroque, around 1600.

It is generally accepted that the Baroque movement began in the early 17th century and ended in the 18th century, but it has been classified as “Baroque” or at least considered a precursor of the Baroque movement since the 16th century. Likewise, as with almost all artistic movements, Baroque influences continued beyond the 18th century. Baroque art definition

Leave a Comment