Origin of the Baroque (I)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
The famous Baroque period spanned the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, reaching maturity in Italy around 1630. Its two most important elements were the aristocracy and the peasants in the Catholic world. Its main contribution was in architecture, especially in the Church of the Counter Reformation established in Trent, and it featured figures such as Giacomo della Porta, Maderno, Bernini and Borromini. In the eighteenth century Italy lost its leading role in Europe but the Baroque continued in areas where it constituted a great renovating force, such as Turin and Naples, particularly in Piedmont. Turin became the center of its highest architectural expression with figures such as Guarino Guarini, Filippo Juvarra and Bernardo Vittone.
At that time, German architecture was an extension of Roman architecture but freer, while there were countries where the Baroque did not develop, like France, England and the Netherlands. France took a serious look at the Baroque after the arrival of Louis XIV and began to use it as a way of defending classicism and academia, believing that the state was represented by this grandiose, solemn, academic architecture. England continued with the Gothic style of the Elizabethans and the Jacobins. They produced the English architect Iñigo Jones who adopted the Baroque, and in the early years of the eighteenth century it evolved into what is now called ‘Palladianism’.
So the Baroque remained permanently as a new art in all the cities and minds in the world at that time.
Baroque art is undoubtedly one of the best ways to use human creativity and imagination to create something immortal and very beautiful. This art has been evolving from the Renaissance to contemporary art, either in response to political and social needs, or inspired by the artists themselves, and has left a major imprint on the history of the entire world.
The Baroque appeared at the time as a form of support for the Roman Catholic Church as a religious force and then grew throughout Europe in painting, sculpture and architecture. It has left a significant mark on the history of the visual arts up to the present and perhaps will live on for many more years.
Addendum: I will continue with another phase of Baroque Art in the next instalment.