The Baroque

  • © Flickr - CC Mark B.Schlemmer

  • © Flickr - CC Henrik Berger Jørgensen

The Baroque

17th century

"Flowing and exuberant" could describe the characteristics of Baroque (art 1650-1750).  The Baroque style was confined mainly to the 17th century, succeeding the Renaissance Mannerism of the late 16th century and preceding the Late Baroque, or Rococo, of the late 18th century.

Marked by Italy and historical evolution, classical Baroque was translated into town planning with the construction of "ideal towns". From 1665, Louis XIV made his château at Versailles the centre of gardens laid out with wide paths and terraces.  In Rome, Bernini began work on the baldaquin of Saint Peter's Throne (1624) and Pierre de Cortonne remodelled Sainte-Marie-de-la-Paix square (1656).  There are countless Italian luxury private villas, especially in Tuscany. The City of London, after the Great Fire, was rebuilt in a grid pattern (1666).. In Paris, J. Hardouin-Mansart opened up the Place des Victoires and Place Vendôme (1685).  The Luxembourg Palace was inspired by the Pitti in Florence.

Baroque church architecture is found in Paris with the facades of the churches of Saint-Paul (1641) and Val-de-Grâce (1645).  The number of Baroque altarpieces increased in Germany and Spain.  Noteworthy painters include the Italians A. Carracci and Caravaggio; Frenchmen N.Poussin and C.Lorrain; Dutch artists P. Rubens, J. Jordaëns and the Spaniards F.de Zurbaràn and D.Velàsquez.