Home / Art / Art HistoryExploring the Extravagance and Drama of Baroque Art and Architecture

Exploring the Extravagance and Drama of Baroque Art and Architecture

Baroque Architecture and Interior Design

Interiors

Similar to art of the era, Baroque interiors conveyed an interest in over-the-top grandeur. Furniture and other decorative art objects frequently featured scrolling—a patterned design reminiscent of spiraling foliage—and other elements inspired by the natural world. Similarly, puttiCupid-like figures—often adorned tapestries and ceiling paintings.

Baroque Interior Design Baroque Architecture Baroque Period

Interior of Herzogenburg Abbey Church, Lower Austria (Photo: Uoaei1 via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 AT)

Baroque Interior Design Baroque Architecture Baroque Period

Interior of the Schaezlerpalais, Augsburg, Germany (Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Adam63 via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

As expected, the materials used to craft these interiors exuded luxury, as evident in the “rich velvet and damask furnishings and gilt-wood and marquetry furniture” (Victoria and Albert Museum) often found inside palaces.

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The Dauphin’s Bedroom in the Palace of Versailles

Exteriors

Baroque architecture is also characterized by ornamentation. Often, the façades of Baroque buildings are adorned with intricate relief carvings, gilded accents, and columns—namely, Solomonic columns, whose corkscrew aesthetic was favored by architects from Spain to Austria.

DSC04039 (explored)

St. Charles Church, Vienna (1737)

Architects all over Europe also topped many Baroque basilicas, churches, and other edifices with domes. Besides oval domes, which were erected all over the continent, the preferred style of domes typically varied by region, with onion domes prevailing in Central Europe and bulbous domes proving popular in Germany.

Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano e Colonna Traiana, Roma

Dome of Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano Church, Rome (1736-1751)

Above all else, Baroque architecture conveyed a preference for balance.

Legacy

Though the Baroque style emerged centuries ago, it remains one of the most beloved movements in art history. Whether gazing at a priceless collection of paintings in the Louvre or throwing a coin in Rome’s popular Trevi Fountain, the lasting legacy of Baroque art and architecture is as obvious as its opulence.

Baroque Art Baroque Period Baroque Sculpture

Nicola Salvi, The Trevi Fountain’ (1732-1762) (Photo: RoyFokker via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is an art historian living in Paris. Born and raised in San Francisco, Kelly holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.

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