Why did the Baroque Style develop?
The Baroque style is seen as a generally lively or even ostentatious artistic, architectural, and musical style from the late 17th to the late 18th century. This vivid style is prominent in regions in what are today Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Austria, where it represents a movement that became particularly popular among Catholic regions or countries in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. This vividness contrasts greatly from the plain and often dull styles of Protestant Europe, although eventually Baroque styles even influenced these regions.
Context of Development
The context of Baroque development has to be seen in light of the great religious conflicts of the 16-17th centuries, such as the initial conflict between Luther and the Catholic Church and eventually the Thirty Years War that tore much of Europe apart. During the Council of Trent, in 1545–63, the Catholic Church was looking for a new style that would contrast itself from Protestantism and also give it a style that people could embrace. The movement begins with the development of Baroque architecture in Italy, which in the early 17th century embraced color, vivid display, and pageantry. This is manifested in the cupolas that constituted the large church domes and quadratura ceiling paintings. Church interiors became highly decorated and more decorative elements were added to the altar and columns of the great hall within the church. Emphasis was to put the parishioners close to the altar to make them experience the grandeur of the church and ceremony.