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Influence Of Religion In The Development Of Baroque Style

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Baroque Arts

Baroque is an ornamental and highly extravagant representation of music, dance, architecture, painting, sculpture and other forms of art, which originated during the early 17th till the mid-18th century in the European subcontinent. Baroque arts is followed by the period of Renaissance art and Mannerism preceding the late Baroque also known as the Rococo and Neoclassical style. There was an encouragement of this art form by the Catholic church as a countermeasure of the simple yet austerity of Protestant architecture, music and art, although the Lutheran Baroque art developed in certain parts of Europe as well.

There was a certain pattern used in the art and architecture related to Baroque art from that portrayed a contrasting movement, lucid details, varied color, grandeur and exuberance for achieving a sense of awe in their works. The initiation of this style began during the starting of the 17th century in Rome that rapidly spread in parts of France, northern provinces of Italy, Portugal, Spain to Austria and southern parts of Germany. During 1730s, there was an evolution of a more flamboyant style termed as Rococo or rocaille, which was there in Central parts of Europe up to the mid or late 18th century.

Baroque architecture was an amalgamation of certain principles that were adopted by the Catholic churches during the council of the Counter-Reformation, which imposed a serious academic style on different forms of architecture related to religious interpretations that created an uproar amongst the intellects of the society, however the mass of churchgoers were unaffected. The Council decided to appeal in-front of a more popular audience, declaring that an art should communicate themes related to religion directly or from an emotional perspective. The Lutheran form of Baroque art started developing a confessional style of identity as a response against the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists. The theme of the Baroque churches were designed to accommodate a large central space, so that the people who came to worship could stay close to the altar. Domes or cupola high overhead allowed the churches to stay illuminated. This dome was a symbolic style of the baroque art form that portrayed the union of both the earth and the heaven.

The English word Baroque is directly derived from the French and supposedly adapted from the Portugese term barroco, which meant flawed pearl. The term did not originate to describe forms of art, architecture or music. Before 18th century, French Baroque and Portuguese barroco were terms used to describe jewellery and ornaments. The term was used to describe pearls in Charles V’s inventory. The term later appeared in the 1694 edition of Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, that described baroque to be only used for pearls that are round in an imperfect manner. The French term had roots in the medieval Latin word baroco, which was a philosophical term invented during the 13th century scholars describing a specific kind of syllogism or logical arguments. During the 18th century this term was used for describing music. Satirical reviews by Jean-Phillipe Rameau critiqued the novelty of an opera and remarked that this form of music was lacking melody, change in the key and meter and ran through any compositional device hastily.

The Baroque is depicted as a lively, ostentatious architectural and musical style starting from the late 17th century till the end of 18th century. The style was vivid and prominent in different regions across Europe that later became a movement, particularly popular in Catholic regions or countries that woke during the reformation of the Protestants. The vivid nature of this art form was contrastingly opposite in nature from the dullness of Protestant Europe’s form of art, that led to the rise in influence of Baroque arts in those parts of Europe as well.

The development of Baroque art is during the great religious conflicts occurring in 16th and 17th century Europe, where the initiation of the conflict took place due to Luther and the Catholic churches, which eventually led to the thirty years of war mongering in different parts of Europe. The Catholic churches were looking for a prominent and vivid new style of art to contrast the Protestantism and bring up a new style of art that would be embraced by the mass. Firstly, there were buildings with few fans, soon this movement became the Baroque with subsequent development of art and architecture in Italy during the early 17th century that embraced vividness of color and pageantry. This is depicted from the cupolas, which constitute large church buildings and domes with quadrature paintings in the ceiling. The interiors of the church were decorated with beautiful elements in altar and columns in the halls within the churches. There was a lot of emphasis on the parishioners, which were close to the altar for making an impression during ceremonies on the church. There were twisted columns attached that allowed the light to reflect inside the altar that gave a sense of motion.

Slowly, Baroque started to spread in statuary art, or least influencing thought process that began to affect statutory composition. There was inclusion of work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini who was the most influential artist of the Baroque style. Statues made were way more expressive and inspired by Lorenzo’s work Giuseppe Pannin made the largest statue in Baroque style fountain in Rome named as the Trevi Fountain. The musical styles began to turn from the Renaissance music to Baroque style and one of the most notable form of music opera was also a direct result of Baroque art form. There was inclusion of new musical styles that got associated with the Baroque art, which included extensive use of harmony and tonality to improvise the chords.

The reason behind spread of Baroque, although debate is primarily due to some churches in Italy and particularly Rome that displayed a new Baroque style, though most of it was confined to the parts of Italy. The real reason behind the spread of Baroque was during the early 1600s, Spain began to create their own Baroque churches, like the San Isidro Chapel in Madrid. There was a sudden change in the Baroque style adapting local styles to spread further. The 17th century was a period of rising tension that shaped the various forms of art to protest against the wrongdoings through art and, the subsequent religious conflict saw expressions in form of arts and paintings. Louis XIV and XV, both encouraged architecture, that were way more geometrically symmetrical. The palace in Versailles built during the 1680s simply proves the appreciation of Baroque works in French art and architecture. Certain regions of Germany and Austria, Bavaria in particular and parts of southern Germany were Catholics mainly lived, Baroque art and architecture began to form a style emerging in subsequent provinces across Europe. Palaces like Salzburg, German baroque particularly the protestant areas and more non-ostentatious catholic areas saw rapid emergence of utilizing baroque art for expression that influenced the classical style in France. Berlin also had a lot of Baroque style artwork. The entire Medieval city of Salzburg saw variety of exemplary artworks, mainly in the Catholic cities demolishing the old artwork to be replaced by the Baroque art by changing the design of the entire city layout, squares, fountains, official buildings and churches. The people who shifted to different parts of the world from these parts of Europe influenced by the Baroque artwork, subsequently use their knowledge to build churches, chapels and domes around those cities that provided a global expansion of this art form, acknowledged by different cities and their people across the world.

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