|Years active||17th–18th centuries|
The Baroque (
The Baroque style used contrast, movement, exuberant detail, deep colour, grandeur and surprise to achieve a sense of awe. The style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome, then spread rapidly to France, northern Italy, Spain and Portugal, then to Austria, southern Germany and Russia. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an even more flamboyant style, called
The English word baroque comes directly from the French, and may have been adapted from the Portuguese term barroco, a flawed pearl. Both words are also related to the Spanish term berruca (verruca) or barrueco.
The term did not originally describe a style of music or art. Prior to the 18th century, the French baroque and Portuguese barroco were terms exclusively related to jewellery. An example from 1531 uses the term to describe pearls in an inventory of
The French term for the artistic style may also have had roots in the medieval Latin word
In the 18th century, the term was also used to describe music, and was not flattering. In an anonymous satirical review of the première of
In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."
The terms "style baroque" and "musique baroque" appeared in Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française in 1835. By the mid-19th century, art critics and historians had adopted the term as a way to ridicule post-Renaissance art. This was the sense of the word as used in 1855 by the leading art historian Jacob Burkhardt, who wrote that baroque artists "despised and abused detail" because they lacked "respect for tradition."
In 1888, the art historian