Baroque

   Along with the Biedermeier of the post-Napoleonic period and turn-of-the century Jugendstil, the Baroque is clearly among the artistic styles to have made permanent marks on Austria. Indeed, all three terms now characterize entire historical epochs rather than simply architectural and artistic forms.
   The origins of the term Baroque are obscure. Some art historians trace it to a Portuguese term for an irregularly shaped pearl. Its hallmarks are grandiose representational buildings and interiors, both secular and spiritual. In the lands of the Habsburg monarchy, the Baroque style was prevalent in the 17th and early 18th centuries. It is especially linked with the success of the Catholic Counter-Reformation and the reconquest of east central Europe from the Ottoman Empire by the house of Habsburg and its allies. Throughout much of the dynasty’s eastern lands, new building was as much a necessity as a luxury, since the long wars with the Ottomans had devastated many structures. Vienna itself had become a very run-down city. Baroque artists and architects enjoyed generous patronage from Emperors Leopold I (1640–1705), Joseph I (1678–1711), and Charles VI (1685–1740). Noble houses throughout the Habsburg Empire employed them as well, as did wealthier cloisters. The initial stages of Baroque building and decoration in the Austrian territories took place largely in ecclesiastical settings. The work was usually done by Italians, in whose land the style had first appeared. Most important among these monuments are St. Peter’s Cathedral in Salzburg; the mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II in Graz; and, in Vienna, the facade of the Church am Hof. In the case of the latter, the alterations followed the austerely elegant lines prescribed by the Jesuits for their churches in Italy. A substantial new wing of the Imperial Palace (Hofburg), called the Leopoldine Tract, also dates from this period. Austrian artists worked on the decorative features of these structures, but they were not initially as accomplished as either their Italian or Netherlandic counterparts.
   This situation changed following the defeat of the Ottoman army before Vienna in 1683. Austrian builders and architects received lavish support from both the imperial court and its imitators and the upper hierarchy of the church. Architects such as Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, who was actually born in Genoa, were inspired and supported not only by the 17th-century victories of their Habsburg rulers but by the challenge to outdo the court style of Louis XIV, the Austrian dynasty’s formidable enemy to the west. It was within this context that Fischer von Erlach drew up his first, and never realized, plan for Schönbrunn, the Habsburg summer residence in Vienna, and Lukas von Hildebrandt designed the Belvedere Palace for Prince Eugene of Savoy, the great imperial general. Another significant architect from Lower Austria, Jakob Prandtauer, planned the remodeling of the imposing cloister of Melk on the Danube. The Baroque building style worked its way in a somewhat more modest vein into municipal architecture as well by the middle of the 18th century.
   The painting and sculpture of the Austrian Baroque often served decorative functions within these larger buildings. The rich colors and dynamic lines of such work contrast brilliantly with the weighty lines of the structures that house them. The outcome can be seen in the great ceiling frescoes of Melk and the walls and ceilings of the so-called Prunksaal (Eng.: Hall of State) of the Austrian National Library.
   See also Music.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BAROQUE — L’origine du mot «baroque», appelé à une si grande fortune, doit être raisonnablement reconnue dans le mot portugais barroco , qui désigne la perle irrégulière, voisin du castillan berrucco , qui était lui même entré dans la langue technique de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Baroque — art redirects here. Please disambiguate such links to Baroque painting, Baroque sculpture, etc. In the arts, the Baroque (pronounced /bə rɒk/) was a Western cultural epoch, commencing roughly at the beginning of the 17th century in Rome, Italy.… …   Wikipedia

  • Baroque — ist eine weiße Rebsorte, die mittlerweile eine lokale Rarität der Region Béarn in der französischen Weinbauregion Sud Ouest ist. Noch Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts war sie weit verbreitet . Nach Meinung des französischen Ampelographen Pierre Galet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Baroque —    Baroque is a style of art and architecture of the early seventeenth to mid eighteenth century, characterized by elaborate ornamentation, curved lines, and enormous size. The Oxford English Dictionary says the style pays tribute to Francesco… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • baroque — BAROQUE. adj. des 2 genr. Terme qui n est d usage qu en parlant Des perles qui sont d une rondeur fort imparfaite. Un collier de perles baroques.Baroque, se dit aussi au figuré, pour Irrégulier, bizarre, inégal. Un esprit baroque. Une expression… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • baroque — 1765, from Fr. baroque (15c.) irregular, from Port. barroco imperfect pearl, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Sp. berruca a wart. This style in decorations got the epithet of Barroque taste, derived from a word signifying pearls and teeth… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Baroque —    Baroque is a term used to denote the art from roughly the 1580s to the end of the 17th century. Its development coincides with the Counter Reformation when the Catholic Church sought to curtail the spread of Protestantism that threatened its… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • baroque — [bə rōk′] adj. [Fr, orig., irregular < Port barroco, imperfect pearl] 1. [often B ] a) of, characteristic of, or like a style of art and architecture characterized by much ornamentation and curved rather than straight lines b) of,… …   English World dictionary

  • Baroque — Ba*roque , a. [F.; cf. It. barocco.] (Arch.) 1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of, an artistic style common in the 17th century, characterized by the use of complex and elaborate ornamentation, curved rather than straight lines, and, in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • baroque — index elaborate, tawdry Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • baroque — adj *ornate, florid, rococo, flamboyant …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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