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.
In the early 17th century, baroque now began to spread to statuary art. This included work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who became perhaps the most influential artist to affect statuary expression of the baroque style. Music in the late 1580s already began to turn away from the Renaissance music style as composers such as Jacopo Peri began to develop not only baroque style but also what would become opera. Dafne was composed by him in 1597 and is often considered as the first true opera. The Medici court had patronized him and he was also influenced by Jacopo Corsi.
Spread of the Baroque
Although one can say already some churches in Italy, particularly Rome, in the 1580s began to display a new Baroque style, most of the Baroque in the late 16th century was confined to Italy. It only really began to spread in the early 1600s, when Spain began to create its own Baroque churches, such as the San Isidro Chapel in Madrid.