Baroque is a term used to describe the many different art forms created in Europe and Latin America.
The style began to emerge in Italy in the 1500’s, but it wasn’t until the 1600’s that the baroque movement swept through the rest of Europe. In the 1700’s, baroque art began to appear in colonial Latin America.
About Baroque Art
Baroque art rebelled against the traditional Mannerist style of Renaissance art.
Renaissance art was more orderly, restrained, and symmetrically balanced, whereas Baroque artists made their work richer and more grandiose.
For example, a Renaissance artist may have used rectangles to make an artwork balanced and beautiful. But a baroque artist would have replaced the rectangles with curved areas for a more dramatic effect.
Baroque artists strived to make their work more emotional, appealing to all the senses with variety and movement.
Baroque art also contrasted values and depicted bold ornamentation.
Baroque Art in Society & Architecture
Many rulers of countries wanted art that would glorify their reigns. Therefore, baroque artists were commissioned to create magnificent baroque palaces that expressed power and authority. This kind of architecture can be seen in Versailles in France and Zwinger in Germany.
During the baroque period, a movement called the Counter Reformation began to stir religious enthusiasm throughout Europe. The baroque style of art was used to create churches that expressed the drama and emotion of the time.
Baroque architecture combined classical and Renaissance ideas when creating columns, arches, and capitals. Sweeping curves replaced rectangular areas. Baroque architects integrated sculpture and painting into building design, helping create the illusion of great space.
Architects of this time paid more attention to the relationship between buildings and their surroundings. This can be seen in they styles of two great Italian baroque architects – Gian Lorenzo Bernin and Francesco Borromini.
Noteworthy Baroque Artists
Baroque painting was also more emotional and dramatic than Renaissance art.
Typically, baroque painters worked on a large scale and painted freely. The great baroque painters included Michelangelo de Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrant, and Diego Valzquez.
Baroque sculpture characterised a tremendous amount of movement. During this time, sculptors began to use plaster and stucco.
The great sculptor of the baroque period was Gian Lorenzo Bernini of Italy.
Other Art Movements
- Abstract Expressionism
- Academic Art
- Art Deco
- Art Nouveau
- Conceptual Art
- Figurative Art
- Naive Art
- Pop Art
- Surrealism / Surrealist Art