Baroque Architecture

The Baroque Architecture expresses the triumph of the Catholic Church and the absolutist state. It uses light and shadow for dramatic intensity. It is more about its decoration purposes that its practical purposes. It is extravagant, exaggerated and theatrical. It helps emphasize focal points like facades and altars.

Suggested Lecture:

Mary McConnell’s “Italian Baroque Architecture and Sculpture”


John Lobell’s “Baroque Architecture” (40 min)

(This video in Youtube contains a ‘transcript’ feature)

Lobell presents several aspects of the Baroque contextualizing the architecture of the period with historical, artistic and religious aspects.

Suggested Activity:

Have students research and present about Baroque buildings in Spain, France and Italy.

Sample presentation from students:

Ask students to list characteristics that they find in Baroque architecture after seeing pictures.

Ask students to draw their version of Baroque architecture.

Sample of student version of Baroque

This is a Messiah College student's idea of Baroque architecture.

Spanish Baroque Architecture

Influenced by the Italian Baroque, the Spanish baroque is characterized for being intricate, exaggerated, and capricious. Its curvilinear lines and extravagance have usually little relation to structure and function, but rather serve mainly for decoration.

Look at some examples of Baroque Architecture in Spain.