Essay about LoydS 1

Submitted By skylarloyd7
Words: 981
Pages: 4

Skylar Loyd
Professor Blackman
HUMN 2223
31 January 2014
Baroque Buildings Because of the condition of society during the Baroque Period, the art and architecture created during that time was very unique. To elaborate, in some locations, Baroque art was mostly influenced by science; in other areas, art was purely faith-driven. This is most likely a result of the Protestant Reformation, a movement in which European society began to turn away from the Catholic Church and towards open-mindedness and scientific thought (“The Protestant Reformation"). This reformation, along with an intellectual movement known as the Scientific Revolution, made science important in European society and, therefore, influenced several pieces of art and architecture. Conversely, these movements also sparked the Counter-Reformation, in which the Catholic Church attempted to lure people back to a faith-based society (“Renaissance and Baroque Art”); this movement also had a heavy influence on art as many paintings and sculptures created during this time were intended to advertise religion and the Church. Therefore, both religion and science affected art and architecture of the Baroque period. This is evident in many pieces of art and buildings created at that time. Some important examples of architecture that embody the characteristics and values of the Baroque Period include: St. Peter’s Basilica of Rome, France’s Palace of Versailles, and the Hampton Court of England. Firstly, St. Peter’s Basilica of Rome has many characteristics seen in Baroque architecture. For example, it has features such as strong curves, lavish decoration, and complexity, which are common in Baroque art (“Baroque Architecture”). Furthermore, the Baldachin, which is located in the alter of the Basilica, was made with twisting pillars instead of straight, uniform ones; this is meant to have a theatrical, dramatic effect on viewers and is concurrent with most other artwork of the Baroque Period; most art during this time was made dramatic in order to invoke certain feelings in onlookers (“Baroque Architecture”). In this case, the artist was most likely intending to hyperbolize the grandness of the Catholic Church. This theory is also supported by the colors and detail in which the Basilica was painted. For example, the building was painted in rich blues and gold; these colors represented heaven and wealth and were meant to make the Church seem more divine and appealing. This choice of paint, along with the other design choices mentioned above, emphasize how St. Peter’s Basilica reflects not only the characteristics of Baroque art, but also the condition of society at that time. Furthermore, the Palace of Versailles in France also embodies the spirit of the Baroque period. Like the Basilica, the Palace of Versailles has many characteristics consistent with Baroque art. For example, the common practice of contrasting light and dark is very evident here; on the façade of the Palace, the light walls of the building contrast with the dark shadows in the many windows. Also, the Palace features a double-sloped mansard roof, which is “the most distinctive element of French Baroque architecture” (“Baroque Architecture”). However, while the Palace of Versailles may contain some of the same Baroque styles at the Basilica, it is also different because it was influenced more by science than religion. To elaborate, the garden of the Palace of Versailles emphasizes the respect and admiration for scientific thought at that time. It was designed with complex geometric shapes and a linear scheme; this simple yet captivating design pays homage to scientific thought and the advancements being made in mathematics at that time. Furthermore, because the garden was so complex in design, it also demonstrated “man's ability to tame and control nature” (“Versailles: A Landscape of Politics); this demonstration emphasizes the attitude of society at this time. Therefore, the Palace of Versailles emphasizes