The Baroque
WLA metmuseum Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens.jpg
Wieskirche 1.2.jpg
Top: Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens (1635–40); Center: The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini (1651); Bottom: The Wieskirche in Bavaria (1754)
Years active17th–18th centuries

The Baroque (UK: k/, US: k/; French: [baʁɔk]) is a highly ornate and often extravagant style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s. In the territories of the Spanish and Portuguese empires including the Iberian Peninsula it continued, together with new styles, until the first decade of the 1800s. It followed Renaissance art and Mannerism and preceded the Rococo (in the past often referred to as "late Baroque") and Neoclassical styles. It was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture, art and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well.[1]

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 rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and Central Europe until the mid to late 18th century.

Origin of the word

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)[2] or barrueco.[3][4]

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 Charles V's treasures.[5] Later, the word appears in a 1694 edition of Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, which describes baroque as "only used for pearls that are imperfectly round."[6] A 1728 Portuguese dictionary similarly describes barroco as relating to a "coarse and uneven pearl."[7]

The French term for the artistic style may also have had roots in the medieval Latin word baroco, a philosophical term which was invented in the 13th century by scholastics to describe a particularly complicated type of syllogism, or logical argument. In the 16th century the philosopher Michel de Montaigne associated the term 'baroco' with "Bizarre and uselessly complicated." [8]

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 Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie in October 1733, which was printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734, the critic wrote that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device.[9]

In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."[10]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was a musician and composer as well as philosopher, wrote in 1768 in the Encyclopédie: "Baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, and loaded with modulations and dissonances. The singing is harsh and unnatural, the intonation difficult, and the movement limited. It appears that term comes from the word 'baroco' used by logicians."[11][8]

In 1788, the term was defined by Quatremère de Quincy in the Encyclopédie Méthodique as "an architectural style that is highly adorned and tormented" .[12]

The terms "style baroque" and "musique baroque" appeared in Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française in 1835.[13] 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."[14]

Alternatively, a derivation from the name of the Italian painter Federico Barocci (1528–1612) has been suggested.[15]

In 1888, the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin published the first serious academic work on the style, Renaissance und Barock, which described the differences between the painting, sculpture, and architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque.[16]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Barok
Alemannisch: Barock
العربية: باروكية
aragonés: Barroco
asturianu: Barrocu
Avañe'ẽ: Varróko
azərbaycanca: Barokko
বাংলা: বারোক
Bân-lâm-gú: Baroque
башҡортса: Барокко
беларуская: Барока
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Барока
български: Барок
Boarisch: Barock
bosanski: Barok
català: Barroc
Чӑвашла: Барокко
čeština: Baroko
Cymraeg: Baróc
dansk: Barokken
Deutsch: Barock
dolnoserbski: Barok
eesti: Barokk
Ελληνικά: Μπαρόκ
español: Barroco
Esperanto: Baroko
estremeñu: Barrocu
euskara: Barrokoa
فارسی: باروک
føroyskt: Barokkur
français: Baroque
galego: Barroco
贛語: 巴洛克式
한국어: 바로크
հայերեն: Բարոկկո
हिन्दी: बरॉक
hornjoserbsce: Barok
hrvatski: Barok
Ido: Baroko
Bahasa Indonesia: Barok
interlingua: Baroco
íslenska: Barokk
italiano: Barocco
עברית: בארוק
Jawa: Barok
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಬರೊಕ್‌
ქართული: ბაროკო
қазақша: Барокко
Kiswahili: Baroko
kurdî: Barok
Latina: Barocus
latviešu: Baroks
Lëtzebuergesch: Barock
lietuvių: Barokas
Limburgs: Barok
lingála: Balókí
magyar: Barokk
македонски: Барок
მარგალური: ბაროკო
مصرى: باروك
Bahasa Melayu: Baroque
Nedersaksies: Barok
日本語: バロック
Napulitano: Barocco
Nordfriisk: Barok
norsk: Barokken
norsk nynorsk: Barokken
occitan: Barròc
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Barokko
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਬਾਰੋਕ
پنجابی: باروک
Patois: Baruok
Piemontèis: Baròch
Plattdüütsch: Barock
polski: Barok
português: Barroco
română: Baroc
русиньскый: Бароко
русский: Барокко
саха тыла: Барокко
Scots: Baroque
Seeltersk: Barock
shqip: Baroku
sicilianu: Baroccu
Simple English: Baroque
slovenčina: Barok
slovenščina: Barok
српски / srpski: Барок
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Barok
suomi: Barokki
svenska: Barocken
Tagalog: Baroque
தமிழ்: பரோக்
татарча/tatarça: Барокко
ไทย: บารอก
тоҷикӣ: Барокко
Türkçe: Barok
українська: Бароко
اردو: باروکے
Tiếng Việt: Baroque
West-Vlams: Barok
Winaray: Baroko
粵語: 巴洛克
kriyòl gwiyannen: Barok