ÖSYM • osym
March 17, 2018 1 min

The term baroque (misshaped pearl) was applied, at first contemptuously but later respectfully, to a style of architecture that originated in Rome in the early seventeenth century and showed a significant departure from the traditions of the Renaissance. Asymmetry of design, luxuriance of ornament, strange or broken curves or lines, and polychromatic richness were its main features. The word was later extended to the other visual arts of the baroque period, which is generally regarded as having lasted to the middle of the eighteenth century. The best known early exponents are Borromini in architecture, Bernini in sculpture, and Rubens in painting. Rococo (rock-work) is sometimes treated as synonymous with baroque, but is more properly confined to a later development of it, especially in France, lighter and more fanciful, and with ornament even less related to structure. The characteristics of baroque are grandeur, pomposity, and weight; those of rococo are inconsequence, grace, and lightness. Baroque aims at astounding, rococo at amusing.

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