Skip to content

A Masterpiece of Italian Baroque Architecture

Baroque art arose in Italy in the second half of the 16th century, entered its heyday in the 17th century, and gradually declined in the 18th century. Baroque art had a positive influence on both Rococo art in the 18th century and Romanticism in the 19th century. The Baroque artistic style is strongly supported by the church, and is mainly popular in Catholic countries such as Italy, Flanders, and Spain.. ItalyThe works of art master Bernini and Flemish painter Rubens reflect the most glorious achievements of Baroque art in the 17th century. The following editor will bring you a detailed introduction, let’s take a look!

Baroque architecture background

In the 17th century, European power expanded and plundered overseas colonies to accumulate wealth. Life advocated luxury and enjoyment. Therefore, architecture, music, and fine arts also demanded a luxurious, lively and passionate atmosphere. In the seventeenth century, there was a power struggle between old and new religions in Europe.

The old religious forces used violence to suppress believers, and then actively used the artistic and ideological form-Baroque, to confuse and conquer people’s hearts. Baroque art does not reject the sensory joy of heresy, and is also faithful to the Christian worldview, so it is also a “Christian Renaissance.”

The Roman Jesuit church designed by the famous architect and architectural theorist Vignola in the late Italian Renaissance is a masterpiece of the transition from manualism to Baroque style. Some people call it the first Baroque building.


Manipulativeism is an art style in Europe in the late 16th century. Michelangelo is known as the pioneer of manipulativeism. Its main feature is the pursuit of weird and unusual effects, such as expressing space in a deformed and inconsistent way, and expressing characters in exaggerated slender proportions. In architectural history, it refers to the tendency of early Baroque style in the works of some Italian architects from 1530 to 1600.

Representative works of Baroque architecture

Rome Jesuit Church

The plan of the Roman Jesuit church is rectangular, with a holy niche protruding from the end, which evolved from the Latin cross shape commonly used in Gothic churches. The central hall is wide and the vault is full of statues and decorations. Two rows of small prayer rooms are used on both sides to replace the original side corridors.

A dome rose in the middle of the cross. The altar decoration of the church is rich and free, and the mountain flower above breaks through the classical French style, and is used as an icon and decorative light. The facade of the church draws on the approach of the small church of Santa Maria in Florence designed by the early Renaissance architect Alberti.

The layered eaves and mountain flowers on the front door are made of overlapping arcs and triangles, and leaning columns and flat pilasters are used on both sides of the door. Two pairs of large scrolls are made on both sides of the upper part of the facade. These treatments were unique and were later widely imitated.

Since the 1730s, the wealth of the Italian church has increased day by day, and various dioceses have built their own Baroque churches. Due to the small size of the San Carlo Church in Rome, it is not suitable to adopt the Latin cross-shaped plan. Therefore, it is often changed to a single space hall such as a circle, an ellipse, a plum blossom, and a round cruciform, and a large number of curved surfaces are used in the shape.

In order to show off the wealth of the Papal kingdom to pilgrims, the papal authorities built wide avenues and magnificent squares in Rome, which opened up new ways for the free-spirited Baroque style.

Baroque architecture is also popular in some countries in Central Europe, especially Germany and Austria. In the second half of the 17th century, many German architects returned from studying in Italy and combined the Italian Baroque architectural style with the German national architectural style.

Style evaluation

The Baroque style broke the blind worship of Vitruvius, the architectural theorist of ancient Rome, and also broke through the various rules and precepts formulated by the classicists in the late Renaissance, reflecting the secular thoughts yearning for freedom.

On the other hand, the Baroque church is magnificent and can create a very strong atmosphere of mystery. It also meets the requirements of the Catholic Church to show off wealth and pursue a sense of mystery. Therefore, after Baroque architecture began in Rome, it spread throughout Europe and even as far as the Americas. Some Baroque buildings are overly pursuing luxurious spirit, even to the point of cumbersome piles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: