Baroque art

Baroque art is an important cultural and artistic movement that includes political, social and religious aspects. It is considered a continuation of Italian Mannerism, which survived until the mid-16th century. It is one of the most complicated styles that manifests agitation and movement in each of his works.

What is Baroque Art?

Baroque art is considered an artistic style that developed between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which is shown in different artistic disciplines such as architecture, painting, music and literature, characterized by excessive ornamentation.

Baroque art characteristics

Among the main characteristics and features that we can observe in Baroque art we can mention the following.

Origin of Baroque art

The baroque art originated first in the field of plastic arts and then extended to literature, theater and music. It had its origin in Italy during the seventeenth century and managed to spread to places such as Belgium, Holland and even Latin America, where it was introduced by artists who traveled on expeditions from Europe. Art emerged within a political and religious setting in Europe expressing the spirituality and the theocentrism of the Middle Ages, using rationalism and Anthropocentrism of the Renaissance.


We can say that Baroque art began in the 1600s and lasted until 1750, in the middle of what we know as the Renaissance and Neoclassical period, a period in which Catholicism in Europe reacted against different cultural movements leading to a new science and a new religion; the Protestant Reformation. When corruption entered the Catholic Church, they realized that art could be used as a means of publicity and control of ideas, so they hired artists to satisfy their faithful through drama. As an art style, it emerged at the beginning of the 18th and 19th centuries in Italy and then spread throughout Europe.

Relevance of Baroque art

This is one of the most important periods in Western history as it contributed to the construction of European identity which was looking for a way out of classicism from the Renaissance. In addition, it played an important role in all the religious conflicts that were taking place at that time, as the Protestants were confronted with those who constructed simple and humble buildings for religious services with elegant, majestic and complex constructions; it can be said that Baroque art acted as the aesthetic expression of the Counter Reformation.

Baroque art architecture

In architecture, curved lines were adopted instead of straight lines to achieve a greater degree of dynamism and expressiveness. For them, the facades were very important, and they decorated them with great decorations using cornices and Greek and Roman columns. It can be said that it was an architectural style of decoration. The temples were built using circular floors instead of straight ones. In Spain, it was introduced at the end of the 16th century, but poor and shaded materials were used. During Baroque period, Baroque art progressed and was filled with ornaments removing Herrerian elements.


Full of decorations with great movement and dynamism, the images showed violent and exalted passions. It introduced different religious and moral contents that changed the way people express themselves. Religious themes predominated, they made realism one of their main characteristics, and they created images dressed with lots of details. The main client of baroque sculpture was Catholic church and then, the court. Made mainly of polychromed wood, their works are used in the Holy Week celebrations.


It was characterized by its figures filled with chiaroscuro and expression. They used oil painting because it gave them greater brightness and different colors, viscosity and qualities. The canvas was the favorite material of Baroque painters and the linear and symmetrical tendency was lost, because the artists used more freedom in their colors and movements. They painted subjects such as landscapes, still life and men, depending on the criteria of each artistic movement.

Baroque art representatives

Examples of outstanding works

Some of the main works of Baroque art are:

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Baroque art. Recovered on 24 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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