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The Baroque Era refers to the period in European history characterized by extravagant architectural style, art and music, which emerged from the 17th century until the late 18th century. It is the era between the Renaissance and Neoclassical styles and was largely influenced by the Catholic Church.
See the fact file below for more information on the Baroque or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Baroque worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Etymology of the Word
- Scholars believe that the term “baroque” came from the Portuguese word barocco, which means pearl with an irregular shape. It was in 1531 when the word barocco was used to describe the treasures of Charles V.
- In 1734, the term was first used to describe the incoherent melody of music in opera. “Baroque” was also used by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a composer and philosopher, to describe the harmony of music confused and loaded with modulations and dissonances.
- In 1855, Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt use the word baroque to criticize the art style following the Renaissance. However, it was only in 1878 when the term “baroque” officially entered the Académie française dictionary.
Baroque Art: Architecture and Design
- The early Baroque period in architecture emerged around the first quarter of the 1600s in Italy and continued until the late Baroque or Rococo era in France.
- One of the early examples of Baroque architecture was the façade of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The Basilica was initially designed by Michelangelo, a famous Renaissance artist and Carlo Maderno, who designed the front extension in baroque style.
- Baroque elements such as double columns, layered columns, colossal columns and broke pediments are present in Maderno’s work.
- Such architectural elements flourished during the late Renaissance and are often identified as mannerist architecture.
- Also located in St. Peter’s are the works of high baroque artists Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. Bernini worked on the four-story baldachin, or indoor canopy like an altar or throne, while Borromini designed the church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. The latter was known as the master of curved-wall architecture.
- Late Baroque architecture flourished in France during the last quarter of the 17th century. The double-sloped mansard roof is one of the most distinct elements of French Baroque. An example of this are the chateaus, or grand country residences, like the Palace of Versailles, which was built during the reign of King Louis XIV.
- From 1680 until 1750, Rococo Baroque emerged in France and is characterized by curves, elaborate ornaments, asymmetrical decorations and use of white and pastel colors. The rocaille style flourished in Bavaria, Austria, Germany and Russia, influencing painting, sculpture, music and other forms of art.
- Rococo-styled rooms are typically decorated with elegant furniture, small sculptures, delicate tapestries, and ornamental mirrors.
- Many churches in Austria and Southern Germany are in Rococo architectural style.
Baroque Art: Sculpture and Painting
- Baroque painting was a product of religious propaganda. The Catholic Church used art, specifically painting, in the Catholic-Counter Reformation as a result of the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther. The Council of Trent decided that art should communicate religious themes, making the new style impressive.
- Baroque style was called the Jesuit style, which was more dramatic, emotional, and full of life. Paintings are distinguished by the chiaroscuro technique wherein the interplay of light and dark produces a more dramatic atmosphere.
- Among the famous painters are Rembrandt, Rubens and Caravaggio.
- The famous The Elevation of the Cross triptych was made for St. Walpurgis Church in Antwerp has been on display at the Cathedral of Our Lady, also in Antwerp, since 1815.
- Catholic Baroque is visible in huge paintings, frescoes and vault ceilings of churches in Europe. Subjects are seen with hyperextended movements, immense drama, deep emotions and theatrical exaggeration to create an immersive effect.
- An example of Baroque fresco art is painted on the ceiling of the Church of St. Ignatius in Rome. Many figures of saints show movement and drama with St. Ignatius at the center.
- Sculptures during the Baroque era were usually made of bronze, colorful marble and sometimes gilded with gold. Architecture was ornamented with plaster sculptures. Statues were sometimes used to replace columns.
- They can be caryatids, or uprights in female form, or telamons, or those in male form. Such use can be traced back to Classical Greek architecture and sculpture.
- Among the famous sculptors and their masterpieces are Gian Lorenzo Bernini with Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius; Nicolas Coustou with his Allegory Alluding to the Recovery of the King; and Martin Desjardins with La Paix de Nimѐgue.
Baroque Art: Music and Symphony
- It was during the Baroque period when new musical genres like concerto, sonata, cantata, oratorio and opera emerged. When the Catholic Church started to lose its political control, non-religious music flourished.
- Composers like Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Henry Purcell, Arcangelo Corelli and George Frederic Handel were among the musical geniuses who devised complex ways and arrangements that can affect the listener’s emotions.
- Among the composers, Johann Sebastian Bach became prominent. His musical complexities and stylistic innovations made him one of the most remarkable Western composers of all time. His major compositions include Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Mass in B Minor, the Brandenburg Concertos and the Well-Tempered Clavier.
Baroque Clothing: Fashion and Style
- Aside from different forms of art, Baroque is minimally characterized by fashion and style. Men’s attire was highly influenced by the English Civil War and Thirty Years War. Women wore ornamented gowns with lace collars and virago sleeves, which reflected wealth and status almost the same as during the Renaissance. Clothes were ostentatious and exuberant following that of the monarchs and nobilities, which were markedly separate from the lower classes.
Baroque Era Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Baroque Era across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Baroque Era worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Baroque Era which refers to the period in European history characterized by extravagant architectural style, art and music, which emerged from the 17th century until the late 18th century. It is the era between the Renaissance and Neoclassical styles and was largely influenced by the Catholic Church.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Baroque Era Facts
- Famous Baroque Artists
- History of Art
- Baroque Style
- B&B: Baroque Building
- Mix & Match Music
- Baroque by Letters
- Cross to Cross
- Terms to Remember
- Facts and Figures
- Baroque Web Mapping
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Link will appear as Baroque Era Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 13, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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