October 20, 2021

The Baroque is, at the same time, a historical period and a cultural movement that spread to Europe and its colonies between the second half of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth century. As an artistic current influenced literature, sculpture , painting, music, architecture and the performing arts. The spectacular art of the Baroque was reminiscent of the great opera of the time. For a time, the term baroque had been used to describe something artificially complex and extravagant, and it was not until the nineteenth century that it began to be used to refer to seventeenth-century art and architecture. , with which some of the largest and most dramatic buildings, sculptures and paintings in the history of art were created. The Baroque style emerged in the mid-16th century, after the Council of Trent. From here it spread to most of Europe. It was a movement that promoted an artistic style that addressed not only the elites but the illiterate people. Thus, in opera, dance, theater, painting and architecture, the baroque uses a direct and theatrical iconography, with a tendency towards an abundance of ornamentation. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the term "baroque" had a pejorative meaning, synonymous with overloaded, disproportionate and irrational. It was revalued in the late nineteenth century by intellectuals such as Jacob Burckhardt; and the twentieth century was analyzed again by Benedetto Croce and Eugeni d'Ors. It was generally understood as the stage of decline that followed any artistic current. As a temporary period, the Baroque is located between the Renaissance and Neoclassical periods. It was very fashionable in absolutist monarchies, as it emphasized its authority, wealth, and lifestyle. The so-called style of absolutism was used by the Catholic Church to show its power against the many cultural revolutionary movements that produced a new science and new forms of religion, such as the Protestant Reformation, so where did it go? further developed was in Italy, Spain, France, Austria, southern Germany and central Europe. The star theme was religion and the style, very theatrical, tended to be pompous and affectively dramatic.


The word baroque, like most designations of a period, period, or style, was invented by later critics, not art practitioners in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The term baroque comes from the Portuguese word baroque, meaning "imperfect pearl", and by extension: "fake jewel". Benvenuto Cellini first applied it as a synonym for extravagant. Eighteenth-century French and Italian literature used it to describe the art of the previous century, which they considered stuffy, twisted, affected, or ridiculous. This derogatory use was made to highlight the overemphasis and abundance of ornamentation, as opposed to the clear and sober rationality of the Enlightenment (eighteenth century). Finally, the term was rehabilitated by the German art historian Heinrich Wölfflin (1864-1945), who identified the Baroque as a contrast to the Renaissance and as a different type within "elaborate" art. Contemporary Baroque sources, such as the first edition of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française (1694), define Baroque as an adjective for "pearls that are of a very imperfect roundness"; although in the third edition of 1740 it was added "also in a figurative sense because it is irregular, strange, unequal". In 1711, Louis de Rouvroy, Duke of Saint-Simon, already used this expression in his memoirs: “The difficulty was that these places were intended for the most distinguished bishops and that it was very baroque for Abbot Bignon to occupy the place of M de Tonnerre, bisbe-comte de Noyon ». The Encyclopédie (supplement, 1776) defined Baroque music as "one whose harmony is confusing, laden with modulations and dissonances, difficult intonation and forced movement."

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