Elements of Baroque Architecture

An Introduction to Baroque

Baroque art does not appeal to everyone. The architecture is laced with Catholic for some, yet cities across Europe enjoys the Baroque design. Many of the buildings are fine props and settings invented. Some of the best Baroque architecture is very cinematic. There is plenty of movement into every curve. There are plenty of surprises such as ticks of light, teasing the sensations, and bold drama. At the time they were created, the buildings were even more shocking to the common travelers. The grand and imaginative style was initially developed in Rome. The style held domes, ample curves, even chubby cherubs. Then the style moved across countries.

Domes

  • Roman Fashion - These domes have decorations. There are lines going from the top down, could remind a viewer of ribs. Often copper is used to add light against the stonework.
  • Aiming High - A Baroque designer, named Mansart, created a two-story drum at Les Invalides. His creation topped a steeple in Paris. The dome rises high above the city and was the tallest structure at it's creation in Paris. Sometimes there are gliding highlights in the dome that aid water ways down the building yet allow sunlight in the building.
  • Symbolic Carving - These carvings can have many elements such as coils, wavelike scrolls, and be easy for the eye to see. These elements usually support statues and buttress the main dome. One of the most beautiful domes using these elements is the Santa Maria della Salute in Venice.

Cherubs

Often in Baroque art, there are cherubs which exist as little baby creations. They sometimes have wings and are usually naked. Almost every Baroque church has at least one cherub. They exist in palace's, tables, even chairs. They are often playful and can be found in courtyards as well.

Tiers of External Stairs

At this point, theatrical stairs were in high fashion. There were an astounding feature of Baroque styled buildings. The staircase in front of the Bom Jesus do Monte in Portugal is a great example of this style. Contrasting bands of color, such as the white and gray, create an allusion of more drama. When visitors and spectators finally climb the stairs after gawking at the splendor, the church slowly comes into view with each step. They are entirely decorative and to provide grandeur to the surroundings.

Gravity-Defying Statuary

In viewing Baroque art, any spectator will notice the gravity-defying appearance. In the architecture, many sculpture appears floating in thin air. Cherubs and holy individuals, often in churches, appear to fly. They provide an outstanding theatrical appearance. A good example would be this altar piece sculpture in the Rohr Abby in Bavaria. The sculpture is of the Virgin Mary who seems to stand on thin air as a strong and powerful symbol. Many holy individuals were portrayed in churches much like this Virgin Mary statue. Another example would be the large number of crusafix's with Jesus' image in the churches to remind those going to church every week of who died for their sins. Religion was highly influential in society with almost every person in the city visiting weekly.

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kittyjj 4 years ago from San Jose, California

I loved the way how you explain the Baroque art in Architecture. This hub is very educational. Voted up and useful!

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