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Posted on September 4th, 2012, by

The European baroque style was created in the 17th century and greatly influenced further development of different cultures. The ideological foundation of baroque architecture is based on new world outlook in social, political and religious sphere. First of all, it dealt with the emergence of deism in Christianity. It means that God was considered a centre of reason, closely connected with nature. In such a way, old Renaissance ideologies were rejected.

For several centuries Italy remained the legislative power in many cultural spheres, such as theology, literature and art. In XVI century, however, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Great Britain and Hungary began to take an active part in the development of humanistic culture. In XVII century these nations gain spiritual freedom and create a national culture [Kitson, 1966].

The consequences of the Church reformation had the most important consequences during this epoch. The Church was considered the ideological basis of the country, apart from the political structure, both monarchy and republic. Rome as a capital of catholic world directed its forces to the spiritual side of the Empery. Popes tried to revive the grand style of Ancient Rome. The artists in their works turned to the art of Roman Antiquity. From that time on art had to establish the grandeur of the Catholic Church, creating various inspiring monuments and glorifying true beliefs.

The celebration of the victory over paganism led to the revaluation of basilica plan of the church architecture, which met the practical needs of the divine service. Thus, in 1605 Carlo Maderna built a huge central ship with side nave and an imposing hall in the St. Pietro Cathedral.

Later Bernini gave the Cathedral his own splendour, worthy of Early Christian basilica [Witcombe, 2009]. He covered the walls of the Cathedral with polychromic decorations of marble, bronze and gold, populating it with huge statues.

Another element of Early Christian architecture is a church yard and atrium, which inspired Berlini to create a huge plaza in front of the St. Pietro Cathedral (1657-1666). It was allotted for the crowds of pilgrims who wanted to receive blessing. But even this work of Bernini was enriched with new features. The plaza took an oval form and was surrounded by a colonnade, consisted of four rows of Doric columns.

Baroque architecture has a strong emotional impact on religious people with the help of the overload of architectural forms. It created a special artistic environment, which took an active part in the religious ceremonial [Lambert, 2004]. The ceremonial course of the divine service, accompanied with spiritual music, receives an effective support in the architectural image of the Cathedral together with the dramatic pathetic element of sculptural compositions and a grand décor. The facades of the buildings are enriched with ledges and cavities.

 Italy was a guiding star for Europe. Its baroque style cultivated social, political and religious ideas. It presented monumental buildings. The desire to make grandeur the main attribute of church buildings, reflected in the cultural construction of social and private buildings. They had the same tendency with the church ones. It reflected mostly in the interiors of palazzo and villas. Relatively calm facades hided halls with unbelievable luxury. In early XVII century the yards of governors and Italian principalities set the tone in the sphere of culture [Buci-Gluckmann]. For the countries of Northern Europe, which were trying to forget the cruelty of religious wars, it was an example of unique civilized life.

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