European Baroque

Posted: June 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Trevi Fountain

Design Characteristics

Motifs Classical

elements like pilasters and pediments are common. Others are colossal columns, C and S scrolls, shells, swags, flowers, figures, sculpture niches, and cartouches. Mannerist use pilasters that taper at the base.



Churches, palaces and palace complexes, town and country homes, and public buildings.

St Peters Basilica

Site Orientation

Churches, public buildings, and some palaces are no longer self contained and isolated. They project into and enclose spaces around them.

St. Maria della Salute

Floor Plans

Large churches and basilicas are of the Latin Cross, smaller churches and shrines feature centralized plans symbolizing universal concepts. Domestic Plans may be U Shaped.

St Carlo alle Quattro Fontane


Local stone or brick. Contrast in color and/or material accent and emphasize parts and elements.


Classical elements, movement, and center emphasis characterize facades. Layers of elements, combinations of curved and straight lines, advancing and receding planes.


Rectangular or curvilinear with circular or triangular pediments or complex, curvilinear surrounds.


Center emphasis defines entrance, impressive in scale and ornament, arches, columns, and pediments. Made of paneled wood or heavily carved.


Gabled with domed crossings and chapels. Oval domes are preferred.

Dome St. Carlo

Church of St. Nicholas



Several Anterooms, each more magnificent then the last.

Nave, St. Peter’s Basilica


Rich Materials and strong contrasting colors create, support, and enhance the goals of inspiration and awe. Real or painted color marble, Carved and gilded woodwork, and stucco-work.

Architectural details

Articulate and define areas.

Sacristy of La Cartuja


Rich and highly saturated Reds, greens, blues, and purples. Contrast of color are common.


Artificial lighting is minimal, only the rich could afford Candles, candle sticks, Candelabra, sconces, and chandeliers in gold or silver.


Marble, brick, lead-glazed tile, or stone.


Important spaces may be painted, or gilded. Marble typically covers church walls.


Mantels with classical details replace hoods.


Vast interior spaces and vistas with barrel or groin vaults, domes, and arches.

St. Ignazio

Furnishings and Decorative Arts


Seating, tables, Storage pieces, and beds.

Distinctive Features

Large scale, strong contrasts of color, and sculptured effects. Boldly carved figures combined with leaves, scrolls, shells, and other details for the legs of cabinet stands and tables.


Local and imported hard woods, Chief decorations are carving, gilding, lacquer inlay, veneer, or marquetry.


Increased emphasis on comfort, suites of furniture, day beds, and easy chairs. Combine wood with mother of pearl, exotic woods, and marble embellishments.


Consoles and tables with rectangular, usually marble tops feature exuberant carving and gilding. No table specific to eating.

Storage Cabinets

Chest of drawers, and wardrobes. Beds Raised on a dais or placed behind a balustrade.

Decorative Arts

Trade with the Orient fosters a desire for porcelains and lacquerwork. Gold and Silver framework often surround precious porcelain.


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