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The characteristics of Baroque sculpture

The characteristics of Baroque sculpture

The Baroque period was a cultural and artistic era that took place during the 17th century and the start of the 18th century, developed across Europe and the American colonies. This artistic style developed in a time filled with great political and religious tensions between catholic and protestant countries, ultimately becoming a form of propagandistic art for both sides. Want to discover its main characteristics?

  1. Baroque sculpture has an expressive, ornamental, and dynamic personality and was mainly used to decorate religious buildings, palaces, and some public spaces.

  2. These were hugely important as ornaments in the architectural spaces of the time, particularly in fountains – both indoor and outdoor.

  3. While bronze and marble were used as materials, Baroque art was characterised by polychrome wood and stone in outdoor sculptures.

  4. These statues were inspired by everyday life and the religious imaginary; however, these were also monumental works – excessively elaborate and lavishly ornate.

  5. Through theatricality, these artists sought to demonstrate the power of the elite, the aristocracy, the clergy, and the monarchy.

  1. These sculptures realistically reflected the physical features and movements of the human body. They did not seek to idealise, only to offer intensity, vitality, and movement to complex sculptures, in which the characters represented are interlinked.

  2. The sculptors avoided symmetry, multiplying the folds of clothes to give a feeling of greater realism and, what’s more, used counterpoint techniques to achieve contrasts of light that enhanced the emotional weight of the sculptures, creating a greater sensation of movement in the figures represented.

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Last modified on: September 08, 2021

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