Aim of this essay is to give a brief description ofthe Baroque style. I will elaborate on a historic building that represents theEnglish Baroque, the Christ Church orchestrated by Nicholas Hawksmoor.The Baroque art movement was born during the 17thcentury in Rome and subsequently spread throughout other European cities.The term “Baroque” refers to a culturalmovement that touched on different disciplines such as literature, art,philosophy and music. During conflicts between the clergy and the Reformationeffort, the Catholic Church decided to mark their strength of own doctrine.
Baroque art is a playful style, with a strongtendency of a type of decoration, which is very rich, charging, sumptuous,elaborate and imaginative.In spite of the Baroque is a very extravagant, itsfoundations remain classics. In addition, like many other artistic currentsBaroque art does not forget the main goal of educating.In Rome the Baroque developed in the early 1630s andsoon becomes one of the favourite styles of the Catholic Church and monarchies.They feel the need to design baroque churches, monasteries and palaces withelegant way.
The promoter of this style was Pope Urban VIII, who wanted torenew the city, giving it a high prestige.The key features of Baroque architecture are curvedand sinuous lines, such as ellipses and spirals that intertwine with eachother, to seem indecipherable; the central points of the city, such as squares,streets and historical monuments are enhanced with tall domes and ancientEgyptian obelisks. One of the typical features of Baroque is undoubtedly thedecoration which, along with painting, sculpture and the use of stucco, gavebirth to the monuments and majestic structures such as the Basilica of SanGiovanni of Fiorentini, engineered by Sansovino (1523-1734).
Roman baroque churches have a central plan orelongated Central and both plants are usually characterized by a longitudinalaxis.As regards the civil architecture, the buildingsremain largely faithful to the Renaissance style.The Palazzo Barberini (1625-1633) is an earlyBaroque palace, elaborate with a H and a large atrium that narrows at theentrance of the Court. The architects of this building are Gian LorenzoBernini, Carlo Maderno and Francesco Borromini.English Baroque architecture stands out in severalrespects, splitting into three periods.Palladianism is the first period. It is calledPalladianism because it inspired by Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) a Venetian architect.With this style usually plant is cruciform, taken from the Roman architecture;the facades of the structures always have a pleasant view and the lodges aresimilar to a province.
English Inigo Jones (1573-1652) introduced the Baroquearchitecture, with the Palladian architecture. The architect began his studiesas a painter and worked at the Court of Denmark. Before heading back to London,he lived for a time in Italy, especially in Emilia, Veneto, Florence and Rome.Thanks to his travels in Italian territory, he was commissioned to build theQueen’s House at Greenwich. The model of the building is similar to typicalItalian country houses built during the Renaissance, particularly the MediciVilla at Poggio, Caiano.
The Queen’s House is the new orientation of Englisharchitecture.The second period is called Roman classicism as herecovers the Roman art. In 1660 there was a renewed revival of arts. In fact,new forms of pictorial art, theatre, music.
English Baroque architectureachieved higher results, producing all known worldwide today. The leadingexponent of this second period, defined the Roman classicism, was ChristopherWren (1632-1723).In 1661 he was entrusted with the implementation ofits first two buildings, the Sheldonian Theatre (1662-1663) and the chapel ofPembroke College (1663-1665). Later he left for Europe; he stayed in theNetherlands and in France, where he studied and copied many buildings designedby Gian Lorenzo Bernini as for the Louvre. Back in London, the city was attackedby a violent plague followed by a fire that burned most of the city likehouses, churches and cathedrals.
The British architect Wren was asked to redesignthe capital with the construction of 51 churches and also the famous St Paul’sCathedral. The Cathedral is a hybrid of different styles of Baroquearchitecture: the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral resumes ideally the dome of SaintPeter’s Basilica in Rome and the main facade inspired by the Louvre in Paris.Another great work of Wren is Kensington Palace whichis also influenced by the Louvre and other elements of French architecture.The third period of English Baroque, also known asPalladian revival, has as its main representatives two students of Wren, JohnVanbrugh (1664-1726) and Nicholas Hawksmoor (1671-1736). The two students weregiven the task of designing Castle Howard, a monumental country house inYorkshire. The building includes the Palace, a stable, a chapel and severalcourtyards.
The Park is full of historical items, including Egyptian obelisksand Greek temples. Another project of the two architects was Blenheim Palace.The Palace is in Oxfordshire and looks like a majestic country house. As CastleHoward and Blenheim Palace is a union of different architectural styles, whichmark English Baroque style.
There are items that are already used by InigoJones for the palaces of London, corner towers reminiscent of the Elizabethanera and numerous decorations echoing the middle ages.As it was already being mentioned, Hawksmoor was astudent of Wren. The English architect Hawksmoor has always been well knownsince his youth for his great capacity in the field of architecture. Histeacher introduces him in various projects, such as for the creation of the St.Paul Cathedral. Later, after the collaboration with his colleague JohnVanbrugh, he dedicated himself to designing various churches in the heart ofthe city of London.
A typical example is the famous Christ Church,Spitalfields, located on Commercial Street, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.The Church itself is very simple and original in structure. The front entrancehas a stairway leading to the main door. Both sides have 2 columns each; everycolumn is placed on top of a square and white pedestal. The front side isdivided into three sections horizontally, the first starts from pedestal up tothe tops of columns.
This first part, again, is divided into five parts: onecentral and two in each side. The three central parts are made up of threearched doors. Above the doors there are three large glass windows, likewisewith a bow. On two sides at the far end, there are two windows each, asemi-circular and above a rounded one.The second part is from the top of the columns tothe base of the clock. This section in turn is divided into three parts: thetwo sides are decorated with recesses in the form of windows without glass.
While the central part consisting of a large glass window with an arch. Thelast part, the top is decorated with an arrowhead tip above the clock. Thefront of Christ Church, which looks like a tower, is like Roman style bypresenting the typical pillars and pedestals. In addition, the windows areresembling to Italian Baroque style which is similar to typical Venetianwindows.