Baroque/Talk

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Well, I am confused. According to the log:

(diff) Baroque 12:54 pm (2 changes) [*removed "characterized by intricate detail", added some architects] . . . . . MichaelTinkler

This removal is confusing. As far as I know (in literature, music, and architecture) Baroque style is always characterised by intricate detail.

so why did Michael remove this?


well, because "intricate detail" in the field of art and architecture is far too unsubtle to be of any use. I doubt it's useful in music, either. Renaissance and Neoclassical art and architecture are subject to as much detail as Baroque. What do you mean by 'detail' that is useful? --MichaelTinkler


I don't know the protocol for handling /Talk pages, but I'm surprised that you think its okay to remove a link to the talk page when you answer a question and then ask me a question... The point of a /Talk link is to show that there is some discussion that may not be appropriate on the main page. by removing the link, you have basically said my question or opinion has no value.

It isn't the issue of detail that makes the Baroque style important. it's the intricate nature of the detail that makes it important. If fractals had existed in the Baroque times, they would have been called Baroque as well.

Intricacy as opposed to simplicity is an easily recognized characteristic, and may be applied to many endeavors of life. And it is characterstic of the baroque style.


whoops - I didn't mean to delete the Talk link! I apologize very much for that.

Well, 'intricacy' (though I believe he uses the word 'complexity') vs. 'simplicity' is one of the 5 (I think it's 5) difference Wolfflin identifies for the differences between Classic (his word for High Renaissance) and Baroque. That, of course, elides Mannerism. Lots and lots of baroque architecture (the area I know best) is literally quite simple in terms of surface detail - I'm thinking of Bernini's Piazza San Pietro and the surfaces of Borromini's San'Ivo. One can, of course, oppose Guarino Guarini's Chapel of the Holy Shroud in Turin, but he's a lot less characteristic than either of those two Roman examples, or Wren's St. Paul in London.

I would read 'intricate detail' to mean 'fussy'. That is much more a characteristic of Rococo.

Also, the word 'detail' has a variety of meanings in different art forms and media. I sincerely don't think it's a particularly useful introductory sentence to what will eventually be a fairly long article! --MichaelTinkler


I agree that Rococo is intricate as well. When I checked out my definitions at www.dictionary.com, I found that some authors (obviously some of those I have read) equate the two styles. Baroque is known for intricate ornamentation and I'm not sure what that difference (in a general sense of the word) between ornamentation and details might suggest.


Sources I've just read say that late Baroque merge into early Roccoco. And that in some countries, particularly Protestant ones, Baroque did not become as "wild". However I will protest any description of Baroque as simple. -rmhermen


Renaissance art in many media is as 'ornamented' or 'intricate' as the Baroque. I'm thinking (just off hand) of Cellini's metalwork and in fact any finished bronze or gold work of the High or Late Renaissance. They're as covered with 'linear detail' as anything in the Baroque. There is also little difference in the level of *surface detail* in the ornamental nature of, say, renaissance and baroque column capitals.

Please note, I'm not denying there's a difference. There is a stunning difference between a dry, rather dull capital in 1450 or 1500 and something created by Guarino Guarini or Borromini in the 17th century. One is 'renaissance' and the other is 'baroque'. However, it is not a matter of the number of lines cut in the leaves. It is a matter of a sense of animation, a flowing line, a liveliness.

Similarly, there is no less dependence on geometry in the baroque than in the renaissance. The difference is that the preferred geometric figures are no longer Regular figures (circle, square), but instead tend toward the oval, the ellipse (Piazza San Pietro), the 6-pointed star (St. Ivo della Sapienza, Rome). That is a *characteristic* difference, but it has nothing to with surfaces. Borromini's masonry is quite conservative -- it's his geometry that's over the top.

I guess my basic problem may go back to the idea that "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" (see FAQ) - we don't even need to start an entry with a simplification. Of course, I'm sure you meant it only as a beginning, and you and I have spent all this time going back and forth when we could have been adding Baroque entries to be elaborated by others, too. Oh, well - an afternoon (I'm GMT minus 4) not badly spent. --MichaelTinkler


not to worry, rmhermen - I'll protest any description of Modernist Architecture as 'simple', too. A Miesian glass box may look simple from 1000 feet in a photograph.... ---MichaelTinkler.


Is there a reason that baroque art starts in the early 1600's but baroque music in the late 1600's? What about architecture? ---rmhermen


yes. See Periodization. These stylistic terms are very very very messy. The Renaissance starts at different dates for different media, and at different dates in different countries for the same medium. I have real trouble with the Cultural movement entry because of this.