The Baroque (UK: /bəˈrɒk/, US: /bəˈroʊk/) is a highly ornate and often extravagant style of architecture, music, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It followed the Renaissance style 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. 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 and southern Germany. 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.
|Years active||17th–18th century|
|Country||Europe and Latin America|
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).
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 jewelry, An example from 1531 uses the term to describe pearls in an inventory of Charles V's treasures. 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." A 1728 Portuguese dictionary similarly describes barroco as relating to a "coarse and uneven pearl."
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." 
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.
In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."
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."
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 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.
The Baroque style of architecture was a result of doctrines adopted by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1545–63, in response to the Protestant Reformation. The first phase of the Counter-Reformation had imposed a severe, academic style on religious architecture, which had appealed to intellectuals but not the mass of churchgoers. The Council of Trent decided instead to appeal to a more popular audience, and declared that the arts should communicate religious themes with direct and emotional involvement. Lutheran Baroque art developed as a confessional marker of identity, in response to the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists.
Baroque churches were designed with a large central space, where the worshippers could be close to the altar, with a dome or cupola high overhead, allowing light to illuminate the church below. The dome was one of the central symbolic features of baroque architecture illustrating the union between the heavens and the earth, The inside of the cupola was lavishly decorated with paintings of angels and saints, and with stucco statuettes of angels, giving the impression to those below of looking up at heaven. Another feature of baroque churches are the quadratura; trompe-l'œil paintings on the ceiling in stucco frames, either real or painted, crowded with paintings of saints and angels and connected by architectural details with the balustrades and consoles. Quadratura paintings of Atlantes below the cornices appear to be supporting the ceiling of the church. Unlike the painted ceilings of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, which combined different scenes, each with its own perspective, to be looked at one at a time, the Baroque ceiling paintings were carefully created so the viewer on the floor of the church would see the entire ceiling in correct perspective, as if the figures were real.
The interiors of baroque churches became more and more ornate in the High Baroque, and focused around the altar, usually placed under the dome. The most celebrated baroque decorative works of the High Baroque are the Chair of Saint Peter (1647–53) and the Baldachino of St. Peter (1623–34), both by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Baldequin of St. Peter is an example of the balance of opposites in Baroque art; the gigantic proportions of the piece, with the apparent lightness of the canopy; and the contrast between the solid twisted columns, bronze, gold and marble of the piece with the flowing draperies of the angels on the canopy. The Dresden Frauenkirche serves as a prominent example of Lutheran Baroque art, which was completed in 1743 after being commissioned by the Lutheran city council of Dresden and was "compared by eighteenth-century observers to St Peter’s in Rome".
The twisted column in the interior of churches is one of the signature features of the Baroque. It gives both a sense of motion and also a dramatic new way of reflecting light. The cartouche was another characteristic feature of baroque decoration. These were large plaques carved of marble or stone, usually oval and with a rounded surface, which carried images or text in gilded letters, and were placed as interior decoration or above the doorways of buildings, delivering messages to those below. They showed a wide variety of invention, and were found in all types of buildings, from cathedrals and palaces to small chapels.
Baroque architects sometimes used forced perspective to create illusions. For the Palazzo Spada in Rome, Borromini used columns of diminishing size, a narrowing floor and a miniature statue in the garden beyond to create the illusion that a passageway was thirty meters long, when it was actually only seven meters long. A statue at the end of the passage appears to be life-size, though it is only sixty centimeters high. Borromini designed the illusion with the assistance of a mathematician.
The first building in Rome to have a Baroque facade was the Church of the Gesù in 1584; it was plain by later Baroque standards, but marked a break with the traditional Renaissance facades that preceded it. The interior of this church remained very austere until the high Baroque, when it was lavishly ornamented.
In Rome in 1605, Paul V became the first of series of popes who commissioned basilicas and church buildings designed to inspire emotion and awe through a proliferation of forms, and a richness of colors and dramatic effects. Among the most influential monuments of the Early Baroque were the facade of St. Peter's Basilica (1606–1619), and the new nave and loggia which connected the facade to Michelangelo's dome in the earlier church. The new design created a dramatic contrast between the soaring dome and the disproportionately wide facade, and the contrast on the facade itself between the Doric columns and the great mass of the portico.
In the mid to late 17th century the style reached its peak, later termed the High Baroque. Many monumental works were commissioned by Popes Urban VIII and Alexander VII. The sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed a new quadruple colonnade around St. Peter's Square (1656 to 1667). The three galleries of columns in a giant ellipse balance the oversize dome and give the Church and square a unity and the feeling of a giant theater.
Another major innovator of the Italian High Baroque was Francesco Borromini, whose major work was the Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane or Saint Charles of the Four Fountains (1634–46). The sense of movement is given not by the decoration, but by the walls themselves, which undulate and by concave and convex elements, including an oval tower and balcony inserted into a concave traverse. The interior was equally revolutionary; the main space of the church was oval, beneath an oval dome.
Painted ceilings, crowded with angels and saints and trompe-l'œil architectural effects, were an important feature of the Italian High Baroque. Major works included The Entry of Saint Ignace into Paradise by Andrea Pozzo (1685–1695) in the Church of Saint Ignatius in Rome, and The triumph of the name of Jesus by Giovanni Battista Gaulli in the Church of the Gesù in Rome (1669–1683), which featured figures spilling out of the picture frame and dramatic oblique lighting and light-dark contrasts.
The style spread quickly from Rome to other regions of Italy: It appeared in Venice in the church of Santa Maria della Salute (1631–1687) by Baldassare Longhena, a highly original octagonal form crowned with an enormous cupola. It appeared also in Turin, notably in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud (1668–1694) by Guarino Guarini. The style also began to be used in palaces; Guarini designed the Palazzo Carignano in Turin, while Longhena designed the Ca' Rezzonico on the Grand Canal, (1657), finished by Giorgio Massari with decorated with paintings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. A series of massive earthquakes in Sicily required the rebuilding of most of them and several were built in the exuberant late Baroque or Rococo style.
The Catholic Church in Spain, and particularly the Jesuits, were the driving force of Spanish Baroque architecture. The first major work in the style was the San Isidro Chapel in Madrid, begun in 1643 by Pedro de la Torre. It contrasted an extreme richness of ornament on the exterior with simplicity in the interior, divided into multiple spaces and using effects of light to create a sense of mystery. The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela was modernized with a series of Baroque additions beginning at the end of the 17th century, starting with a highly-ornate bell tower (1680), then flanked by two even taller and more ornate towers, called the Obradorio, added between 1738 and 1750 by Fernando de Casas Novoa. Another landmark of the Spanish Baroque is the chapel tower of the Palace of San Telmo in Seville by Leonardo de Figueroa.
Granada had only been liberated from the Moors in the 15th century, and had its own distinct variety of Baroque. The painter, sculptor and architect Alonso Cano designed the Baroque interior of Granada Cathedral between 1652 and his death in 1657. It features dramatic contrasts of the massive white columns and gold decor.
The most and ornamental and lavishly decorated architecture of the Spanish Baroque is called Churrigueresque style, named after the brothers Churriguera, who worked primarily in Salamanca and Madrid. The Church of San Esteban in Salamanca (1693) is one of the most ornate baroque churches anywhere. Their other works include the buildings on the city's main square, the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca (1729). This highly ornamental Baroque style was very influential in many churches and cathedrals built by the Spanish in the Americas.
Other notable Spanish baroque architects of the late Baroque include Pedro de Ribera, a pupil of Churriguera, who designed the Royal Hospice of San Fernando in Madrid, and Narciso Tomé, who designed the celebrated El Transparente altarpiece at Toledo Cathedral (1729–32) which gives the illusion, in certain light, of floating upwards.
The architects of the Spanish Baroque had an effect far beyond Spain; their work was highly influential in the churches built in the Spanish colonies in Latin America and the Philippines. The Church built by the Jesuits for a college in Tepotzotlán, with its ornate Baroque facade and tower, is a good example.
From 1680 to 1750, many highly ornate cathedrals, abbeys, and pilgrimage churches were built in central Europe, in Bavaria, Austria, and what is now the Czech Republic. Some were in Rococo style, a distinct, more flamboyant and asymmetric style which emerged from the Baroque, then replaced it in Central Europe in the first half of the 18th century, until it was replaced in turn by classicism.
The princes of the multitude of states in that region also chose Baroque or Rococo for their palaces and residences, and often used Italian-trained architects to construct them. Notable architects included Johann Fischer von Erlach, Lukas von Hildebrandt and Dominikus Zimmermann in Bavaria, Balthasar Neumann in Bruhl, and Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann in Dresden. In Prussia, Frederic II of Prussia was inspired the Grand Trianon of the Palace of Versailles, and used it as the model for his summer residence, Sanssouci, in Potsdam, designed for him by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff (1745–1747). Another work of baroque palace architecture is the Zwinger in Potsdam, the former orangerie of the palace of the Dukes of Saxony in the 18th century.
One of the best examples of a rococo church is the Basilika Vierzehnheiligen, or Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, a pilgrimage church located near the town of Bad Staffelstein near Bamberg, in Bavaria, southern Germany. The Basilica was designed by Balthasar Neumann and was constructed between 1743 and 1772, its plan a series of interlocking circles around a central oval with the altar placed in the exact center of the church. The interior of this church illustrates the summit of Rococo decoration.
Another notable example of the style is the Pilgrimage Church of Wies (German: Wieskirche). It was designed by the brothers J. B. and Dominikus Zimmermann. It is located in the foothills of the Alps, in the municipality of Steingaden in the Weilheim-Schongau district, Bavaria, Germany.Construction took place between 1745 and 1754, and the interior was decorated with frescoes and with stuccowork in the tradition of the Wessobrunner School. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another notable example is the St. Nicholas Church (Malá Strana) in Prague (1704–55), built by Christoph Dientzenhofer and his son Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. Decoration covers all of walls of interior of the church. The altar is placed in the nave beneath the central dome, and surrounded by chapels, Light comes down from the dome above and from the surrounding chapels. The altar is entirely surrounded by arches, columns, curved balustrades and pilasters of colored stone, which are richly decorated with statuary, creating a deliberate confusion between the real architecture and the decoration. The architecture is transformed into a theater of light, color and movement.
France largely resisted the ornate baroque style of Italy, Spain, Vienna and the rest of Europe. The French Baroque style (often termed Grand Classicism or simply Classicism in France) is closely associated with the works built for Louis XIV and Louis XV; it features more geometric order and measure than baroque, and less elaborate decoration on the facades and in the interiors. Louis XIV invited the master of baroque, Bernini, to submit a design for the new wing of the Louvre, but rejected it in favor of a more classical design by Claude Perrault and Louis Le Vau.
The principal architects of the style included François Mansart (Chateau de Balleroy, 1626–1636), Pierre Le Muet (Church of Val-de-Grace, 1645–1665), Louis Le Vau (Vaux-le-Vicomte, 1657–1661) and especially Jules Hardouin Mansart and Robert de Cotte, whose work included the Galerie des Glaces and the Grand Trianon at Versailles (1687–1688). Mansart was also responsible for the Baroque-classicism of the Place Vendôme (1686–1699).
The major royal project of the period was the expansion of Palace of Versailles, begun in 1661 by Le Vau with decoration by the painter Charles Le Brun. The gardens were designed by André Le Nôtre specifically to complement and amplify the architecture. The Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors), the centerpiece of the château, with paintings by Le Brun, was constructed between 1678 and 1686. Mansart completed the Grand Trianon in 1687. The chapel, designed by de Cotte, was finished in 1710. Following the death of Louis XIV, Louis XV added the more intimate Petit Trianon and the highly ornate theater. The fountains in the gardens were designed to be seen from the interior, and to add to the dramatic effect. The palace was admired and copied by other monarchs of Europe, particularly Peter the Great of Russia, who visited Versailles early in the reign of Louis XV, and built his own version at Peterhof Palace near Saint Petersburg, between 1705 and 1725.
The debut of Russian Baroque, or Petrine Baroque, followed a long visit of Peter the Great to western Europe in 1697–98, where he visited the Chateaux of Fontainebleu and Versailles and other architectural monuments. He decided, on his return to Russia, to construct similar monuments in St. Petersburg, when he moved the Russian capital there in 1712. Early major monuments in the Petrine baroque include the Peter and Paul Cathedral and Menshikov Palace. During the reign of Empress Anna and Elizaveta Petrovna, Russian architecture was dominated by the luxurious baroque style of Bartolomeo Rastrelli; called Elizabethan Baroque. Rastrelli's signature buildings include the Winter Palace, the Catherine Palace and the Smolny Cathedral. Other distinctive monuments of the Elizabethan Baroque are the bell tower of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra and the Red Gate.
Baroque painters worked deliberately to set themselves apart from the painters of the Renaissance and the Mannerism period after it. In their palette, they used intense and warm colors, and particularly made use of the primary colors red, blue and yellow, frequently putting all three in close proximity. They avoided the even lighting of Renaissance painting and used strong contrasts of light and darkness on certain parts of the picture to direct attention to the central actions or figures. In their composition, they avoided the tranquil scenes of Renaissance paintings, and chose the moments of the greatest movement and drama. Unlike the tranquil faces of Renaissance paintings, the faces in Baroque paintings clearly expressed their emotions. They often used asymmetry, with action occurring away from the center of the picture, and created axes that were neither vertical nor horizontal, but slanting to the left or right, giving a sense of instability and movement. They enhanced this impression of movement by having the costumes of the personages blown by the wind, or moved by their own gestures. The overall impressions were movement, emotion and drama. Another essential element of baroque painting was allegory; every painting told a story and had a message, often encrypted in symbols and allegorical characters, which an educated viewer was expected to know and read.
Early evidence of Italian Baroque ideas in painting occurred in Bologna, where Annibale Carracci, Agostino Carracci and Ludovico Carracci sought to return the visual arts to the ordered Classicism of the Renaissance. Their art, however, also incorporated ideas central the Counter-Reformation; these included intense emotion and religious imagery that appealed more to the heart than to the intellect.
Another influential painter of the Baroque era was Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. His realistic approach to the human figure, painted directly from life and dramatically spotlit against a dark background, shocked his contemporaries and opened a new chapter in the history of painting. Other major painters associated closely with the Baroque style include Artemisia Gentileschi, Guido Reni, Domenichino, Andrea Pozzo, and Paolo de Matteis in Italy; Francisco de Zurbarán and Diego Velázquez in Spain; Adam Elsheimer in Germany; and Nicolas Poussin and Georges de La Tour in France (though Poussin spent most of his working life in Italy). Poussin and La Tour adopted a "classical" Baroque style with less focus on emotion and greater attention to the line of the figures in the painting than colour.
Peter Paul Rubens was the most important painter of the Flemish Baroque style. Rubens' highly charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history. His unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement, color, and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
One important domain of Baroque painting was Quadratura, or paintings in trompe-l'oeil, which literally "fooled the eye". These were usually painted on the stucco of ceilings or upper walls and balustrades, and gave the impression to those on the ground looking up were that they were seeing the heavens populated with crowds of angels, saints and other heavenly figures, set against painted skies and imaginary architecture.
In Italy, artists often collaborated with architects on interior decoration; Pietro da Cortona was one of the painters of the 17th century who employed this illusionist way of painting. Among his most important commissions were the frescoes he painted for the Palace of the Barberini family (1633–39), to glorify the reign of Pope Urban VIII. Pietro da Cortona's compositions were the largest decorative frescoes executed in Rome since the work of Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel. .
François Boucher was an important figure in the more delicate French Rococo style, which appeared during the late Baroque period. He designed tapestries, carpets and theater decoration as well as painting. His work was extremely popular with Madame Pompadour, the Mistress of King Louis XV. His paintings featured mythological romantic, and mildly erotic themes.
The dominant figure in baroque sculpture was Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Under the patronage of Pope Urban VIII, he made a remarkable series of monumental statues of saints and figures whose faces and gestures vividly expressed their emotions, as well as portrait busts of exceptional realism, and highly decorative works for the Vatican, including the imposing Chair of St. Peter beneath the dome in St. Peter's Basilica. In addition, he designed fountains with monumental groups of sculpture to decorate the major squares of Rome.
Baroque sculpture was inspired by ancient Roman statuary, particularly by the famous statue of Laocoön from the First Century A.D., which was on display in the gallery of the Vatican. When he visited Paris in 1665, Bernini addressed the students at the Academy of painting and sculpture. He advised the students to work from classical models, rather than from nature. He told the students, "When I had trouble with my first statue, i consulted the Antinous like an oracle."
Notable late French baroque sculptors included Étienne Maurice Falconet and Jean Baptiste Pigalle. Pigalle was commissioned by Frederick the Great to make statues for Frederick's own version of Versailles at Sanssouci in Potsdam, Germany. Falconet also received an important foreign commission, creating the famous statue of Peter the Great on horseback found in St. Petersburg.
In Spain, the sculptor Francisco Salzillo worked exclusively on religious themes, using polychromed wood. Some of the finest baroque sculptural craftsmanship was found in the gilded stucco altars of churches of the Spanish colonies of the New World, made by local craftsmen; examples include the Rosary Chapel of the Church of Santo Domingo in Oaxaca, Mexico (1724–31).
The term Baroque is also used to designate the style of music composed during a period that overlaps with that of Baroque art. The first uses of the term 'baroque' for music were criticisms. In an anonymous, satirical review of the première in October 1733 of Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734, the critic implied that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque," complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was a musician and noted composer as well as philosopher, made a very similar observation in 1768 in the famous Encylopedié of Denis Diderot: "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."
The baroque was a period of musical experimentation and innovation. New forms were invented, including the concerto and sinfonia. Opera was born in Italy at the end of the 16th century (with Jacopo Peri's mostly lost Dafne, produced in Florence in 1598) and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Louis XIV created the first Royal Academy of Music, In 1669, the poet Pierre Perrin opened an academy of opera in Paris, the first opera theater in France open to the public, and premiered Pomone, the first grand opera in French, with music by Robert Cambert, with five acts, elaborate stage machinery, and a ballet. Heinrich Schütz in Germany, Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, and Henry Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century.
The classical ballet also originated in the Baroque era. The style of court dance was brought to France by Marie de Medici, and in the beginning the members of the court themselves were the dancers. Louis XIV himself performed in public in several ballets. In March 1662, the Académie Royale de Danse, was founded by the King. It was the first professional dance school and company, and set the standards and vocabulary for ballet throughout Europe during the period.
Several new instruments, including the piano, were introduced during this period. The invention of the piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731) of Padua, Italy, who was employed by Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany, as the Keeper of the Instruments. . Cristofori named the instrument un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte ("a keyboard of cypress with soft and loud"), abbreviated over time as pianoforte, fortepiano, and later, simply, piano.
During the Baroque period, the art and style of the theater evolved rapidly, alongside the development of opera and of ballet. The design of newer and larger theaters, the invention the use of more elaborate machinery, the wider use of the proscenium arch, which framed the stage and hid the machinery from the audience, encouraged more scenic effects and spectacle.
The Baroque had a Catholic and conservative character in Spain, following an Italian literary model during the Renaissance. The Hispanic Baroque theatre aimed for a public content with an ideal reality that manifested fundamental three sentiments: Catholic religion, monarchist and national pride and honour originating from the chivalric, knightly world.
Two periods are known in the Baroque Spanish theatre, with the division occurring in 1630. The first period is represented chiefly by Lope de Vega, but also by Tirso de Molina, Gaspar Aguilar, Guillén de Castro, Antonio Mira de Amescua, Luis Vélez de Guevara, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Diego Jiménez de Enciso, Luis Belmonte Bermúdez, Felipe Godínez, Luis Quiñones de Benavente or Juan Pérez de Montalbán. The second period is represented by Pedro Calderón de la Barca and fellow dramatists Antonio Hurtado de Mendoza, Álvaro Cubillo de Aragón, Jerónimo de Cáncer, Francisco de Rojas Zorrilla, Juan de Matos Fragoso, Antonio Coello y Ochoa, Agustín Moreto, and Francisco Bances Candamo. These classifications are loose because each author had his own way and could occasionally adhere himself to the formula established by Lope. It may even be that the "manner" of Lope was more liberal and structured than Calderón's.
Lope de Vega introduced through his Arte nuevo de hacer comedias en este tiempo (1609) the new comedy. He established a new dramatic formula that broke the three Aristotle unities of the Italian school of poetry (action, time and place) and a fourth unity of Aristotle which is about style, mixing of tragic and comic elements showing different types of verses and stanzas upon what is represented. Although Lope has a great knowledge of the plastic arts, he did not use it during the major part of his career nor in theatre or scenography. The Lope's comedy granted a second role to the visual aspects of the theatrical representation.
Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, and Calderón were the most important play writers in Golden Era Spain. Their works, known for their subtle intelligence and profound comprehension of a person's humanity, could be considered a bridge between Lope's primitive comedy and the more elaborate comedy of Calderón. Tirso de Molina is best known for two works, The Convicted Suspicions and The Trickster of Seville, one of the first versions of the Don Juan myth.
Upon his arrival to Madrid, Cosimo Lotti brought to the Spanish court the most advanced theatrical techniques of Europe. His techniques and mechanic knowledge were applied in palace exhibitions called "Fiestas" and in lavish exhibitions of rivers or artificial fountains called "Naumaquias". He was in charge of styling the Gardens of Buen Retiro, of Zarzuela and of Aranjuez and the construction of the theatrical building of Coliseo del Buen Retiro. Lope's formulas begin with a verse that it unbefitting of the palace theatre foundation and the birth of new concepts that begun the careers of some play writers like Calderón de la Barca. Marking the principal innovations of the New Lopesian Comedy, Calderón's style marked many differences, with a great deal of constructive care and attention to his internal structure. Calderón's work is in formal perfection and a very lyric and symbolic language. Liberty, vitality and openness of Lope gave a step to Calderón's intellectual reflection and formal precision. In his comedy it reflected his ideological and doctrine intentions in above the passion and the action, the work of Autos sacramentales achieved high ranks. The genre of Comedia is political, multi-artistic and in a sense hybrid. The poetic text interweaved with Medias and resources originating from architecture, music and painting freeing the deception that is in the Lopesian comedy was made up from the lack of scenery and engaging the dialogue of action.
The best known German playwright was Andreas Gryphius, who used the Jesuit model of the Dutch Joost van den Vondel and Pierre Corneille. There was also Johannes Velten who combined the traditions of the English comedians and the commedia del'arte with the classic theatre of Corneille and Molière. His touring company was perhaps the most significant and important of the 17th century.
The baroque garden, also known as the jardin à la française or French formal garden, first appeared in Rome in the 16th century, and then most famously in France in the 17th century in the gardens of Vaux le Vicomte and the Palace of Versailles. Baroque gardens were built by Kings and princes in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Italy and Russia until the mid-18th century, when they began to be remade into by the more natural English landscape garden.
The purpose of the baroque garden was to illustrate the power of man over nature, and the glory of its builder, Baroque gardens were laid out in geometric patterns, like the rooms of a house. They were usually best seen from the outside and looking down, either from a chateau or terrace. The elements of a baroque garden included parterres of flower beds or low hedges trimmed into ornate Baroque designs, and straight lanes and alleys of gravel which divided and crisscrossed the garden. Terraces, ramps, staircases and cascades were placed where there were differences of elevation, and provided viewing points. Circular or rectangular ponds or basins of water were the settings for fountains and statues. Bosquets or carefully-trimmed groves or lines of identical trees, gave the appearance of walls of greenery and were backdrops for statues. On the edges, the gardens usually had pavilions, orangeries and other structures where visitors could take shelter from the sun or rain.
Baroque gardens required enormous numbers of gardeners, continual trimming, and abundant water. In the later part of the Baroque period, the formal elements began to be replaced with more natural features, including winding paths, groves of varied trees left to grow untrimmed; rustic architecture and picturesque structures, such as Roman temples or Chinese pagodas, as well as "secret gardens" on the edges of the main garden, filled with greenery, where visitors could read or have quiet conversations. By the mid-18th century most of the Baroque gardens were partially or entirely transformed into variations of the English landscape garden.
Besides Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, Celebrated baroque gardens still retaining much of their original appearance include the Royal Palace of Caserta near Naples; Nymphenburg Palace and Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces, Brühl in Germany; Het Loo Palace in the Netherlands; the Belvedere Palace in Vienna; the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso in Spain; and Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV, contributed to the decline of the baroque and rococo style. In 1750 she sent her nephew, Abel-François Poisson de Vandières, on a two-year mission to study artistic and archeological developments in Italy. He was accompanied by several artists, including the engraver Nicolas Cochin and the architect Soufflot. They returned to Paris with a passion for classical art. Vandiéres became the Marquis of Marigny, and was named Royal Director of buildings in 1754. He turned official French architecture toward the neoclassical. Cochin became an important art critic; he denounced the petit style of Boucher, and called for a grand style with a new emphasis on antiquity and nobility in the academies of painting of architecture. 
The pioneer German art historian and archeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann also condemned the baroque style, and praised the superior values of classical art and architecture. By the 19th century, Baroque was a target for ridicule and criticism. The neoclassical critic Francesco Milizia wrote: "Borrominini in architecture, Bernini in sculpture, Pierre de Cortone in painting...are a plague on good taste, which infected a large number of artists." In the 19th century, criticism went even further; the British critic John Ruskin declared that baroque sculpture was not only bad, but also morally corrupt.
The Swiss-born art historian Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945) started the rehabilitation of the word Baroque in his Renaissance und Barock (1888); Wölfflin identified the Baroque as "movement imported into mass", an art antithetic to Renaissance art. He did not make the distinctions between Mannerism and Baroque that modern writers do, and he ignored the later phase, the academic Baroque that lasted into the 18th century. Baroque art and architecture became fashionable between the two World Wars, and has largely remained in critical favor. The term "Baroque" may still be used, usually pejoratively, describing works of art, craft, or design that are thought to have excessive ornamentation or complexity of line.
However, the writings of theologians can go only so far towards explaining the evolution of confessional consciousness and the shaping of religious identity. Lutheran attachment to religious images was a result not only of Luther’s own cautious endorsement of their use, but also of the particular religious and political context in which his Reformation unfolded. After the reformer’s death in 1546, the image question was fiercely contested once again. But as Calvinism, with its iconoclastic tendencies, spread, Germany’s Lutherans responded by reaffirming their commitment to the proper use of religious images. In 1615, Berlin’s Lutheran citizens even rioted when their Calvinist rulers removed images from the city’s Cathedral.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (Italian: [anˈtɔːnjo ˈluːtʃo viˈvaldi]; 4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He composed many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons.
Many of his compositions were written for the all-female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children. Vivaldi had worked there as a Catholic priest for 1 1/2 years and was employed there from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for royal support. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and Vivaldi himself died, in poverty, less than a year later.Baroque Revival architecture
The Baroque Revival, also known as Neo-Baroque (or Second Empire architecture in France), was an architectural style of the late 19th century. The term is used to describe architecture which displays important aspects of Baroque style, but is not of the Baroque period proper—i.e., the 17th and 18th centuries. Elements of the Baroque architectural tradition were an essential part of the curriculum of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the pre-eminent school of architecture in the second half of the 19th century, and are integral to the Beaux-Arts architecture it engendered both in France and abroad. An ebullient sense of European imperialism encouraged an official architecture to reflect it in Britain and France, and in Germany and Italy the Baroque revival expressed pride in the new power of the unified state.Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late 16th-century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church. It was characterized by new explorations of form, light and shadow, and dramatic intensity. Common features of Baroque architecture included gigantism of proportions; a large open central space where everyone could see the altar; twisting columns, theatrical effects, including light coming from a cupola above; dramatic interior effects created with bronze and gilding; clusters of sculpted angels and other figures high overhead; and an extensive use of trompe-l'oeil, also called "quadratura," with painted architectural details and figures on the walls and ceiling, to increase the dramatic and theatrical effect.Whereas the Renaissance drew on the wealth and power of the Italian courts and was a blend of secular and religious forces, the Baroque was, initially at least, directly linked to the Counter-Reformation, a movement within the Catholic Church to reform itself in response to the Protestant Reformation. Baroque architecture and its embellishments were on the one hand more accessible to the emotions and on the other hand, a visible statement of the wealth and power of the Catholic Church. The new style manifested itself in particular in the context of the new religious orders, like the Theatines and the Jesuits who aimed to improve popular piety.
Lutheran Baroque art, such as the example of Dresden Frauenkirche (1726-1743), developed as a confessional marker of identity, in response to the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists.The architecture of the High Roman Baroque can be assigned to the papal reigns of Urban VIII, Innocent X and Alexander VII, spanning from 1623 to 1667. The three principal architects of this period were the sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini and the painter Pietro da Cortona and each evolved his own distinctively individual architectural expression.
Dissemination of Baroque architecture to the south of Italy resulted in regional variations such as Sicilian Baroque architecture or that of Naples and Lecce. To the north, the Theatine architect Camillo-Guarino Guarini, Bernardo Vittone and Sicilian born Filippo Juvarra contributed Baroque buildings to the city of Turin and the Piedmont region.
A synthesis of Bernini, Borromini, and Cortona's architecture can be seen in the late Baroque architecture of northern Europe, which paved the way for the more decorative Rococo style.
By the middle of the 17th century, the Baroque style had found its secular expression in the form of grand palaces, first in France—with the Château de Maisons (1642) near Paris by François Mansart—and then throughout Europe.
During the 17th century, Baroque architecture spread through Europe and Latin America, where it was particularly promoted by the Jesuits.Baroque music
Baroque music (US: or UK: ) is a period or style of Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to. Key composers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Albinoni, François Couperin, Giuseppe Tartini, Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Johann Pachelbel.
The Baroque period saw the creation of common-practice tonality, an approach to writing music in which a song or piece is written in a particular key; this kind of arrangement has continued to be used in almost all Western popular music. During the Baroque era, professional musicians were expected to be accomplished improvisers of both solo melodic lines and accompaniment parts. Baroque concerts were typically accompanied by a basso continuo group (comprising chord-playing instrumentalists such as harpsichordists and lute players improvising chords from a figured bass part) while a group of bass instruments—viol, cello, double bass—played the bassline. A characteristic Baroque form was the dance suite. While the pieces in a dance suite were inspired by actual dance music, dance suites were designed purely for listening, not for accompanying dancers.
During the period, composers and performers used more elaborate musical ornamentation (typically improvised by performers), made changes in musical notation (the development of figured bass as a quick way to notate the chord progression of a song or piece), and developed new instrumental playing techniques. Baroque music expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance, and also established the mixed vocal/instrumental forms of opera, cantata and oratorio and the instrumental forms of the solo concerto and sonata as musical genres. Many musical terms and concepts from this era, such as toccata, fugue and concerto grosso are still in use in the 2010s. Dense, complex polyphonic music, in which multiple independent melody lines were performed simultaneously (a popular example of this is the fugue), was an important part of many Baroque choral and instrumental works.
The term "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl". Negative connotations of the term first occurred in 1734, in a criticism of an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, and later (1750) in a description by Charles de Brosses of the ornate and heavily ornamented architecture of the Pamphili Palace in Rome; and from Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1768 in the Encyclopédie in his criticism of music that was overly complex and unnatural. Although the term continued to be applied to architecture and art criticism through the 19th century, it was not until the 20th century that the term "baroque" was adopted from Heinrich Wölfflin's art-history vocabulary to designate a historical period in music.Baroque pop
Baroque pop (sometimes called baroque rock) is a fusion genre that combines rock music with particular elements of classical music. It emerged in the mid 1960s as artists pursued a majestic, orchestral sound and is identifiable for its appropriation of Baroque compositional styles (contrapuntal melodies and functional harmony patterns) and dramatic or melancholic gestures. Harpsichords figure prominently, while oboes, French horns, and string quartets are also common.Although harpsichords had been deployed for a number of pop hits since the 1940s, starting in the 1960s, some record producers increasingly placed the instrument in the foreground of their arrangements. Inspired partly by the Beatles' song "In My Life" (1965), various groups were incorporating baroque and classical instrumentation by early 1966. The term "baroque rock" was coined in promotional material for the Left Banke, who used harpsichords and violins in their arrangements and whose 1966 song "Walk Away Renée" exemplified the style.Baroque pop's mainstream popularity faded by the 1970s, partially because punk rock, disco and hard rock took over; nonetheless, music was still produced within the genre's tradition. Philadelphia soul in the 1970s and chamber pop in the 1990s both incorporated the spirit of baroque pop while the latter contested much of the time's low fidelity musical aesthetic.Classical guitar
The classical guitar (also known as the nylon-string guitar or Spanish guitar) is a member of the guitar family used in classical music. An acoustic wooden string instrument with strings made of gut or nylon, it is a precursor of the acoustic and electric guitars which use metal strings. The name guitar comes from Persian language, in which Tar means string. Tar (string instrument) is also the name of an Iranian instrument that could be the primary form of guitar. Classical guitars are derived from the Spanish vihuela and gittern in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, which later evolved into the seventeenth and eighteenth century Baroque guitar and later the modern classical guitar in the mid nineteenth century.
For a right-handed player, the traditional classical guitar has twelve frets clear of the body and is properly held on the left leg, so that the hand that plucks or strums the strings does so near the back of the sound hole (this is called the classical position). The modern steel string guitar, on the other hand, usually has fourteen frets clear of the body (see Dreadnought) and is commonly played off the hip.
The phrase "classical guitar" may refer to either of two concepts other than the instrument itself:
the instrumental finger technique common to classical guitar—individual strings plucked with the fingernails or, rarely, fingertips.
the instrument's classical music repertoireThe term modern classical guitar is sometimes used to distinguish the classical guitar from older forms of guitar, which are in their broadest sense also called classical, or more specifically, early guitars. Examples of early guitars include the six-string early romantic guitar (c. 1790–1880), and the earlier baroque guitars with five courses.
The materials and the methods of classical guitar construction may vary, but the typical shape is either modern classical guitar or that historic classical guitar similar to the early romantic guitars of France and Italy. Classical guitar strings once made of gut are now made of such polymers as nylon, with fine wire wound about the acoustically lower (bass side) strings.
A guitar family tree may be identified. The flamenco guitar derives from the modern classical, but has differences in material, construction and sound.Today's modern classical guitar was established by the late designs of the 19th-century Spanish luthier, Antonio Torres Jurado.Classical music
Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period. The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows:
the ancient music period, before 500 AD
the early music period, which includes
the Medieval (500–1400) including
the ars antiqua (1170–1310)
the ars nova (1310–1377)
the ars subtilior (1360–1420)
the Renaissance (1400–1600) eras.
the galant music period (1720s–1770s)
the common-practice period, which includes
the galant music period (1720s–1770s)
Romantic eras (c.1780–1910)
the 20th and 21st centuries (1901–present) which includes:
the modern (1890–1930) that overlaps from the late-19th century,
impressionism (1875 or 1890–1925) that also overlaps from the late-19th century
neoclassicism (1920–1950), predominantly in the inter-war period
the high modern (1930–present)
the postmodern (1930–present) eras
the experimental (1950–present)
contemporary (1945 or 1975–present)European art music is largely distinguished from many other non-European classical and some popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 11th century. Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church. Western staff notation is used by composers to indicate to the performer the pitches (which form the melodies, basslines and chords), tempo, metre and rhythms for a piece of music. This can leave less room for practices such as improvisation and ad libitum ornamentation, which are frequently heard in non-European art music and in popular-music styles such as jazz and blues. Another difference is that whereas most popular styles adopt the song (strophic) form or a derivation of this form, classical music has been noted for its development of highly sophisticated forms of instrumental music such as the symphony, concerto, fugue, sonata, and mixed vocal and instrumental styles such as opera, cantata, and mass.The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to distinctly canonize the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ludwig van Beethoven as a golden age. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1829.Classical period (music)
The Classical period was an era of classical music between roughly 1730 and 1820.The Classical period falls between the Baroque and the Romantic periods. Classical music has a lighter, clearer texture than Baroque music and is less complex. It is mainly homophonic, using a clear melody line over a subordinate chordal accompaniment, but counterpoint was by no means forgotten, especially later in the period. It also makes use of style galant which emphasized light elegance in place of the Baroque's dignified seriousness and impressive grandeur. Variety and contrast within a piece became more pronounced than before and the orchestra increased in size, range, and power.
The harpsichord was replaced as the main keyboard instrument by the piano (or fortepiano). Unlike the harpsichord, which plucked strings with quills, pianos strike the strings with leather-covered hammers when the keys are pressed, which enables the performer to play louder or softer and play with more expression; in contrast, the force with which a performer plays the harpsichord keys does not change the sound. Instrumental music was considered important by Classical period composers. The main kinds of instrumental music were the sonata, trio, string quartet, symphony (performed by an orchestra) and the solo concerto, which featured a virtuoso solo performer playing a solo work for violin, piano, flute, or another instrument, accompanied by an orchestra. Vocal music, such as songs for a singer and piano (notably the work of Schubert), choral works, and opera (a staged dramatic work for singers and orchestra) were also important during this period.
The best-known composers from this period are Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert; other notable names include Luigi Boccherini, Muzio Clementi, Antonio Salieri, Leopold Mozart, Johann Christian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Christoph Willibald Gluck. Ludwig van Beethoven is regarded either as a Romantic composer or a Classical period composer who was part of the transition to the Romantic era. Franz Schubert is also a transitional figure, as were Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Luigi Cherubini, Gaspare Spontini, Gioachino Rossini, and Carl Maria von Weber. The period is sometimes referred to as the era of Viennese Classic or Classicism (German: Wiener Klassik), since Gluck, Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, Schubert, and Beethoven all worked in Vienna.Flemish Baroque painting
Flemish Baroque painting refers to the art produced in the Southern Netherlands during Spanish control in the 16th and 17th centuries. The period roughly begins when the Dutch Republic was split from the Habsburg Spain regions to the south with the Spanish recapturing of Antwerp in 1585 and goes until about 1700, when Habsburg authority ended with the death of King Charles II. Antwerp, home to the prominent artists Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens, was the artistic nexus, while other notable cities include Brussels and Ghent.Rubens, in particular, had a strong influence on seventeenth-century visual culture. His innovations helped define Antwerp as one of Europe's major artistic cities, especially for Counter Reformation imagery, and his student Van Dyck was instrumental in establishing new directions in English portraiture. Other developments in Flemish Baroque painting are similar to those found in Dutch Golden Age painting, with artists specializing in such areas as history painting, portraiture, genre painting, landscape painting, and still life.German literature
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German parts of Switzerland and Belgium, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol in Italy and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there are some currents of literature influenced to a greater or lesser degree by dialects (e.g. Alemannic).
Medieval German literature is literature written in Germany, stretching from the Carolingian dynasty; various dates have been given for the end of the German literary Middle Ages, the Reformation (1517) being the last possible cut-off point. The Old High German period is reckoned to run until about the mid-11th century; the most famous works are the Hildebrandslied and a heroic epic known as the Heliand. Middle High German starts in the 12th century; the key works include The Ring (ca. 1410) and the poems of Oswald von Wolkenstein and Johannes von Tepl. The Baroque period (1600 to 1720) was one of the most fertile times in German literature. Modern literature in German begins with the authors of the Enlightenment (such as Herder). The Sensibility movement of the 1750s–1770s ended with Goethe's best-selling Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1774). The Sturm und Drang and Weimar Classicism movements were led by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. German Romanticism was the dominant movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Biedermeier refers to the literature, music, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the years 1815 (Vienna Congress), the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1848, the year of the European revolutions. Under the Nazi regime, some authors went into exile (Exilliteratur) and others submitted to censorship ("internal emigration", Innere Emigration). The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to German language authors thirteen times (as of 2009), or the third most often after English and French language authors (with 27 and 14 laureates, respectively), with winners including Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, and Günter Grass.Lute
A lute () is any plucked string instrument with a neck (either fretted or unfretted) and a deep round back enclosing a hollow cavity, usually with a sound hole or opening in the body. More specifically, the term "lute" can refer to an instrument from the family of European lutes. The term also refers generally to any string instrument having the strings running in a plane parallel to the sound table (in the Hornbostel–Sachs system). The strings are attached to pegs or posts at the end of the neck, which have some type of turning mechanism to enable the player to tighten the tension on the string or loosen the tension before playing (which respectively raise or lower the pitch of a string), so that each string is tuned to a specific pitch (or note). The lute is plucked or strummed with one hand while the other hand "frets" (presses down) the strings on the neck's fingerboard. By pressing the strings on different places of the fingerboard, the player can shorten or lengthen the part of the string that is vibrating, thus producing higher or lower pitches (notes).
The European lute and the modern Near-Eastern oud descend from a common ancestor via diverging evolutionary paths. The lute is used in a great variety of instrumental music from the Medieval to the late Baroque eras and was the most important instrument for secular music in the Renaissance. During the Baroque music era, the lute was used as one of the instruments which played the basso continuo accompaniment parts. It is also an accompanying instrument in vocal works. The lute player either improvises ("realizes") a chordal accompaniment based on the figured bass part, or plays a written-out accompaniment (both music notation and tabulature ("tab") are used for lute). As a small instrument, the lute produces a relatively quiet sound. The player of a lute is called a lutenist, lutanist or lutist, and a maker of lutes (or any similar string instrument, or violin family instruments) is referred to as a luthier.Neoclassicism (music)
Neoclassicism in music was a twentieth-century trend, particularly current in the interwar period, in which composers sought to return to aesthetic precepts associated with the broadly defined concept of "classicism", namely order, balance, clarity, economy, and emotional restraint. As such, neoclassicism was a reaction against the unrestrained emotionalism and perceived formlessness of late Romanticism, as well as a "call to order" after the experimental ferment of the first two decades of the twentieth century. The neoclassical impulse found its expression in such features as the use of pared-down performing forces, an emphasis on rhythm and on contrapuntal texture, an updated or expanded tonal harmony, and a concentration on absolute music as opposed to Romantic program music.
In form and thematic technique, neoclassical music often drew inspiration from music of the 18th century, though the inspiring canon belonged as frequently to the Baroque and even earlier periods as to the Classical period—for this reason, music which draws inspiration specifically from the Baroque is sometimes termed neo-Baroque music. Neoclassicism had two distinct national lines of development, French (proceeding partly from the influence of Erik Satie and represented by Igor Stravinsky, who was in fact Russian-born) and German (proceeding from the "New Objectivity" of Ferruccio Busoni, who was actually Italian, and represented by Paul Hindemith). Neoclassicism was an aesthetic trend rather than an organized movement; even many composers not usually thought of as "neoclassicists" absorbed elements of the style.Opera
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" (the literal translation of Italian word "opera") is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
Opera is a key part of the Western classical music tradition. Originally understood as an entirely sung piece, in contrast to a play with songs, opera has come to include numerous genres, including some that include spoken dialogue such as musical theater, Singspiel and Opéra comique. In traditional number opera, singers employ two styles of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected style and self-contained arias. The 19th century saw the rise of the continuous music drama.
Opera originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century (with Jacopo Peri's mostly lost Dafne, produced in Florence in 1598) and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Heinrich Schütz in Germany, Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, and Henry Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century. In the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe (except France), attracting foreign composers such as George Frideric Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Christoph Willibald Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s. The most renowned figure of late 18th-century opera is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas, especially The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, as well as Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), and The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), landmarks in the German tradition.
The first third of the 19th century saw the high point of the bel canto style, with Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini all creating works that are still performed. It also saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Auber and Meyerbeer. The mid-to-late 19th century was a golden age of opera, led and dominated by Giuseppe Verdi in Italy and Richard Wagner in Germany. The popularity of opera continued through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss in the early 20th century. During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Bohemia. The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism (Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg), Neoclassicism (Igor Stravinsky), and Minimalism (Philip Glass and John Adams). With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso and Maria Callas became known to much wider audiences that went beyond the circle of opera fans. Since the invention of radio and television, operas were also performed on (and written for) these mediums. Beginning in 2006, a number of major opera houses began to present live high-definition video transmissions of their performances in cinemas all over the world. Since 2009, complete performances can be downloaded and are live streamed.Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through the organ pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. Most organs have multiple ranks of pipes of differing timbre, pitch, and volume that the player can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops.
A pipe organ has one or more keyboards (called manuals) played by the hands, and a pedalboard played by the feet; each keyboard has its own group of stops. The keyboard(s), pedalboard, and stops are housed in the organ's console. The organ's continuous supply of wind allows it to sustain notes for as long as the corresponding keys are pressed, unlike the piano and harpsichord whose sound begins to dissipate immediately after a key is depressed. The smallest portable pipe organs may have only one or two dozen pipes and one manual; the largest may have over 33,000 pipes and seven manuals. A list of some of the most notable and largest pipe organs in the world can be viewed at List of pipe organs. A list consisting the ranking of the largest organs in the world - based on the criterion constructed by Michał Szostak, i.e. 'the number of ranks and additional equipment managed from a single console - can be found in 'The Organ' and in 'The Vox Humana'.
The origins of the pipe organ can be traced back to the water organ in Ancient Greece, in the 3rd century BC, in which the wind supply was created by the weight of displaced water in an airtight container. By the 6th or 7th century AD, bellows were used to supply Byzantine organs with wind. Beginning in the 12th century, the organ began to evolve into a complex instrument capable of producing different timbres. A pipe organ with "great leaden pipes" was sent to the West by the Byzantine emperor Constantine V as a gift to Pepin the Short, King of the Franks, in 757. Pepin's son Charlemagne requested a similar organ for his chapel in Aachen in 812, beginning the pipe organ's establishment in Western European church music. In England, "The first organ of which any detailed record exists was built in Winchester Cathedral in the 10th century. It was a huge machine with 400 pipes, which needed two men to play it and 70 men to blow it, and its sound could be heard throughout the city." By the 17th century, most of the sounds available on the modern classical organ had been developed. From that time, the pipe organ was the most complex man-made device — a distinction it retained until it was displaced by the telephone exchange in the late 19th century.Pipe organs are installed in churches, synagogues, concert halls, schools, other public buildings and in private properties. They are used in the performance of classical music, sacred music, secular music, and popular music. In the early 20th century, pipe organs were installed in theaters to accompany the screening of films during the silent movie era; in municipal auditoria, where orchestral transcriptions were popular; and in the homes of the wealthy. The beginning of the 21st century has seen a resurgence in installations in concert halls. The organ boasts a substantial repertoire, which spans over 500 years.Renaissance Revival architecture
Renaissance Revival architecture (sometimes referred to as "Neo-Renaissance") is a group of 19th century architectural revival styles which were neither Greek Revival nor Gothic Revival but which instead drew inspiration from a wide range of classicizing Italian modes. Under the broad designation "Renaissance architecture" nineteenth-century architects and critics went beyond the architectural style which began in Florence and central Italy in the early 15th century as an expression of Humanism; they also included styles we would identify as Mannerist or Baroque. Self-applied style designations were rife in the mid- and later nineteenth century: "Neo-Renaissance" might be applied by contemporaries to structures that others called "Italianate", or when many French Baroque features are present (Second Empire).
The divergent forms of Renaissance architecture in different parts of Europe, particularly in France and Italy, has added to the difficulty of defining and recognizing Neo-Renaissance architecture. A comparison between the breadth of its source material, such as the English Wollaton Hall, Italian Palazzo Pitti, the French Château de Chambord, and the Russian Palace of Facets—all deemed "Renaissance"—illustrates the variety of appearances the same architectural label can take.Rococo
Rococo ( or ), less commonly roccoco, or "Late Baroque", is a highly ornamental and theatrical style of decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colors, sculpted molding, and trompe l'oeil frescoes to create the illusions of surprise, motion and drama. It first appeared in France and Italy in the 1730s and spread to Central Europe in the 1750s and 1760s. It is often described as the final expression of the Baroque movement.The Rococo style began in France in the first part of the 18th century in the reign of Louis XV as a reaction against the more formal and geometric Style Louis XIV. It was known as the style rocaille, or rocaille style. It soon spread to other parts of Europe, particularly northern Italy, Bavaria, Austria, other parts of Germany, and Russia. It also came to influence the other arts, particularly sculpture, furniture, silverware and glassware, painting, music, and theatre.Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace (German: Schloss Schönbrunn [ʃøːnˈbʁʊn]; Central Bavarian: Schloss Scheenbrunn) was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.Second Empire architecture
Second Empire is an architectural style, most popular in the latter half of the 19th century and early years of the 20th century. It was so named for the architectural elements in vogue during the era of the Second French Empire. As the Second Empire style evolved from its 17th-century Renaissance foundations, it acquired a mix of earlier European styles, most notably the Baroque, often combined with mansard roofs and/or low, square-based domes.The style quickly spread and evolved as Baroque Revival architecture throughout Europe and across the Atlantic. Its suitability for super-scaling allowed it to be widely used in the design of municipal and corporate buildings. In the United States, where one of the leading architects working in the style was Alfred B. Mullett, buildings in the style were often closer to their 17th-century roots than examples of the style found in Europe.Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Peter Mortensen Jr. (; Danish: [viːɡo ˈmɒːdn̩sn̩]; born October 20, 1958) is an American/Danish actor, author, photographer, poet, and painter. Born in New York to a Danish father and American mother, he was a resident of Venezuela and Argentina during his childhood. He is the recipient of various accolades including a Screen Actors Guild Award and has been nominated for three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards.
Mortensen made his film debut in a small role in Peter Weir's 1985 thriller Witness starring Harrison Ford and has appeared in several notable films since, including The Indian Runner (1991), Carlito's Way (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), Daylight (1996), The Portrait of a Lady (1996), G.I. Jane (1997), Psycho (1998), A Perfect Murder (1998), A Walk on the Moon (1999), and 28 Days (2000).
Mortensen received international attention in the early 2000s with his role as Aragorn in the epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings. In 2005, Mortensen won critical acclaim for David Cronenberg's crime thriller A History of Violence. Two years later, another Cronenberg film, Eastern Promises (2007), earned him further critical acclaim and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. A third teaming with Cronenberg in A Dangerous Method (2011) resulted in a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. Other well-received films include Appaloosa (2008) and Far from Men (2014). Further Academy Award nominations came for his leading roles in Captain Fantastic (2016) and Green Book (2018).
Aside from acting, Mortensen's other artistic pursuits include fine arts, photography, poetry, and music. In 2002, he founded the Perceval Press to publish the works of little-known artists and authors.
Baroque architecture by region