The word ‘baroque’ came from a Portuguese word ‘barocco’ or a Spanish word ‘barueco’ that means irregularly shaped pearl. Later, the name came to indicate an extravagant style of architecture influenced by rich and highly ornate elements. Baroque architecture emerged in America and Europe between 17th and 18th centuries. It had a completely different sense of style.
Various scientific discoveries, religion and political situations influenced architecture of the period. Baroque architectural style was mainly characterized by:
Saint Peter's Basilica Square Colonnade, Vatican City, Rome, Italy by Architect Bernini
Special Architectural Features Of Baroque Architecture
Baroque architecture is largely inspired by dynamic forms and designs to connect to the sensuality. Some of the key features of Baroque architecture are:
Early Baroque Period (1584-1625)
Saint Peters Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy by Architect Carlo Maderno
Early Baroque period (1584-1625) was characterized by grand religious architecture to create sensuous and emotional connections with people and inspire them through magnificence of design.
High Baroque Period (1625-1675)
Santa Maria della Salute Church, Venice, Italy by Architect Baldassare Longhena
Baroque architecture came to it top during High Baroque period (1625-1675). Francesco Borromini and Gian Lorenzo Bernini were amongst the most prominent architects of this era. Churches of Sant’lvo alla Sapienza, Oratorio dei Filippini and San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane were designed by the influential architect Borromini. Bernini designed Fontana della Barcaccia, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and St. Peter’s Square. Some other remarkable buildings of High Baroque era are Barberini Palace, Pavillon de I’Horloge, Santa Maria della Salute.
Late Baroque Period (1675-1750)
Chapel, Palace of Versailles, France by Architect Robert de Cotte
During the Late Baroque period (1675-1750), style of architecture spread throughout Europe. Different Baroque styles were developed in different countries. A rather classical Baroque style was adopted in France such as the Chapel of the Palace of Versailles. Remarkable architects of this era were Carlo Maderno, Fischer von Erlach, Christopher Wren, Nicolas Hawksmoor and Balthasar Neumann.
Baroque architecture came as a reaction to the architecture of Renaissance period. It inherited fundamental architectural features from Renaissance era such as domes, colonnades. But everything in Baroque architecture was richly ornate and elaborate.