Baroque, History and Development

contoh bangunan gaya baroque

The Baroque, which emerged around the year 1600 in Rome, Italy, is indeed regarded as one of the greatest periods in the history of art. When discussing the history of the development of world art, we inevitably have to talk about the Baroque, as it is one of the most important artistic styles and had a significant impact on the development of art in later periods. According to most critics, this style is often referred to as the golden era of world art.

Baroque Diamond A Baroque diamond displaying an unusual shape. Source:

Etymologically, the term Baroque is somewhat difficult to pinpoint due to the various opinions regarding its origins. Nevertheless, the majority view on this term suggests that its origins can be traced back to the Italian word “barocco.” Meanwhile, the word “barocco,” with the same meaning, also appears in modern Spanish.

If we delve further into the word “barocco,” we eventually arrive at Latin as the parent language of Italian, French, and modern Spanish. Based on its linguistic roots, the word “barocco” is an evolution of the word “bis-roca.” In essence, “barocco” is related to the craftsmanship of diamond cutting. Specifically, “barocco” refers to the unconventional shapes of diamonds, whether intentionally designed or naturally occurring.

In practice, if a diamond has an anomaly in its shape, it is referred to as a Baroque diamond. Meanwhile, the term “Baroque” is actually a French translation of the word “barocco” itself. The term “Baroque” also appears in several other European countries, such as “barock” in Germany and “barok” in the Netherlands. All of them have the same meaning and usage. However, in the field of art, the term most commonly used is “Baroque,” derived from the French language.

The term “Baroque” itself underwent a shift in meaning. In practical terms, it is also interpreted as the elaboration of one thing with many details of another. At one point, this term was even used mockingly, especially for something that had too many details, obscuring the clarity of the thing itself. These practical meanings of the term later emerged and were used as a definition for the artistic style that became known as the Baroque.

In the context of art, the Baroque is seen as one of the periods in the history of art that exaggerates many aspects. In more detail, this style uses hyperbolic aspects to create dramatic and theatrical impressions. Its purpose can be said to immerse the audience, admirers, or observers in an atmosphere filled with tension, luxury, grandeur, and magnificence.

With these characteristics, it’s no wonder that this style eventually became the main consumption of the nobility, elites, and aristocrats of the time. Many historians noted that the elites of that era truly utilized this style to showcase their power and strength through dramatic visual forms, such as palaces emphasizing grandeur, grand Baroque-style gates, or banquet rooms emphasizing the opulence of their owners.

The Baroque, which emerged around the year 1600 in Rome, Italy, is indeed regarded as one of the greatest periods in the history of art. This is well-founded because this style encompasses a wide range of artistic fields, including painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, performing arts, dance, and music. With its broad reach, it’s no surprise that this art style quickly spread throughout Europe, surpassing its identity as a mere artistic style.


  • “Encyclopædia Britannica: Western painting”. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  • The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2011
  • Boardman, John ed., The Oxford History of Classical Art, 1993, OUP, ISBN 0-19-814386-9

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