Baroque architecture

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Baroque architecture
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Years activelate 16th–18th centuries

Baroque architecture is a highly decorative and theatrical style which appeared in Italy in the early 17th century and gradually spread across Europe. It was originally introduced by the Catholic Church, particularly by the Jesuits, as a means to combat the Reformation and the Protestant church with a new architecture that inspired surprise and awe. [1] It reached its peak in the High Baroque (1625–1675), when it was used in churches and palaces in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, and Austria. In the Late Baroque period (1675–1750), it reached as far as Russia and the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Latin America, Beginning in about 1730, an even more elaborately decorative variant called Rococo appeared and flourished in Central Europe. [2] [3]


Baroque architects took the basic elements of Renaissance architecture, including domes and colonnades, and made them higher, grander, more decorated, and more dramatic. The interior effects were often achieved with the use of quadratura , or trompe-l'oeil painting combined with sculpture; The eye is drawn upward, giving the illusion that one is looking into the heavens. Clusters of sculpted angels and painted figures crowd the ceiling. Light was also used for dramatic effect; it streamed down from cupolas, and was reflected from an abundance of gilding. Twisted columns were also often used, to give an illusion of upwards motion, and cartouches and other decorative elements occupied every available space. In Baroque palaces, grand stairways became a central element. [4]

The Early Baroque (1584–1625) was largely dominated by the work of Roman architects, notably the Church of the Gesù by Giacomo della Porta (consecrated 1584) facade and colonnade of St. Peter's Basilica by Carlo Maderno (completed 1612) and the lavish Barberini Palace interiors by Pietro da Cortona (1633–1639). Church of the Gesù by Giacomo della Porta (consecrated 1584), interior, and Santa Susanna (1603), by Carlo Maderno. In France, the Luxembourg Palace (1615–45) built by Salomon de Brosse for Marie de Medici was an early example of the style. [5]

The High Baroque (1625–1675) produced major works in Rome by Pietro da Cortona, including the (Church of Santi Luca e Martina) (1635–50); by Francesco Borromini (San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1634–1646)) ; and by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (The colonnade of St. Peter's Basilica) (1656–57). In Venice, High Baroque works included Santa Maria della Salute by Baldassare Longhena. Examples in France included the Pavillon de l’Horloge of the Louvre Palace by Jacques Lemercier (1624–1645), the Chapel of the Sorbonne by Jacques Lemercier (1626–35) and the Château de Maisons by François Mansart (1630–1651)

The Late Baroque (1675–1750) saw the style spread to all parts of Europe, and to the colonies of Spain and Portugal in the New World. National styles became more varied and distinct. The Late Baroque in France, under Louis XIV, was more ordered and classical; examples included the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles and the dome of Les Invalides. An especially ornate variant, appeared in the early 18th century; it was first called Rocaille in France; then Rococo in Spain and Central Europe. The sculpted and painted decoration covering every space on the walls and ceiling. Its most celebrated architect was Balthasar Neumann, noted for the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and the Wurzburg Residence (1749–51) [6] Another 18th century variant was Lutheran Baroque art, exemplified by Dresden Frauenkirche (1726–1743)


Early Baroque (1584–1625)

Baroque architecture first appeared in the late 16th and early 17th century in religious architecture in Rome a means to counter the popular appeal of the Protestant Reformation. It was a reaction against the more severe and academic earlier style of earlier churches, it aimed to inspire the common people with the effects of surprise, emotion and awe. To achieve this, it used a combination of contrast, movement, trompe-l'oeil and other dramatic and theatrical effects, such as quadratura the use of painted ceilings that gave the illusion that one was looking up directly at the sky. The new style was particularly favored by the new religious orders, including the Theatines and the Jesuits, who built new churches designed to attract and inspire a wide popular audience. [7]


One of the first Baroque architects, Carlo Maderno, used Baroque effects of space and perspective in the new facade and colonnade of Saint Peter's Basilica, which was designed to contrast with and complement the gigantic dome built earlier by Michelangelo. [8] Other influential early examples in Rome included the Church of the Gesù by Giacomo della Porta (consecrated 1584), with the first Baroque facade and a highly ornate interior, and Santa Susanna (1603), by Carlo Maderno. [9]


The Jesuits soon imported the style to Paris. The Church of Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais in Paris (1615–1621) had the first Baroque facade in France, the first facade in France, featuring, like the Italian Baroque facades, the three superimposed classical orders. [10] The Italian style of palaces was also imported to Paris by Marie de Medici for her new residence, the Luxembourg Palace (1615–1624) by architect Salomon de Brosse, and for a new wing of the Chateau of Blois by Francois Mansard (1635–38). Nicolas Fouquet, the superintendent of finances for the young King Louis XIV, chose the new style for his château at Vaux-le-Vicomte (1612–1670) by Louis Le Vau. He was later imprisoned by the King because of the extravagant cost of the palace. [11]

Central Europe

The first example of early Baroque in Central Europe was the Corpus Christi Church, Nesvizh in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, built by the Jesuits on the Roman model between 1586 and 1593 in Nieśwież (after 1945 Niasvizh in Belarus). [12] [13] The church also holds a distinction of being the first domed basilica with a Baroque façade in the Commonwealth and Eastern Europe. [13] Another early example in Poland is the Church of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Kraków, built between 1597 and 1619 by the Italian Jesuit architect Giovanni Maria Bernardoni.

High Baroque (1625–1675)


Pope Urban VIII, who occupied the Papacy from 1623 to 1644, became the most influential patron of the Baroque style. After the death of Carlo Maderno in 1629, Urban named the architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini as the chief Papal architect. Bernini created not only Baroque buildings, but also Baroque interiors, squares and fountains, transforming the center of Rome into an enormous theater. Bernini rebuilt the Church of Santa Bibiana and the Church of San Sebastiano al Palatino on the Palatine Hill into Baroque landmarks, planned the Fontana del Tritone in the Piazza Barberini, and created the soaring baldacchino as the centerpiece St Peter's Basilica. [14]

The High Baroque spread gradually across Italy, beyond Rome. The period saw the construction of Santa Maria della Salute by Baldassare Longhena in Venice (1630–31). Churches were not the only buildings to use the Baroque style. One of the finest monuments of the early Baroque is the Barberini Palace (1626–1629), the residence of the family of Urban VIII, begun by Carlo Maderno, and completed and decorated by Bernini and Francesco Borromini. The outside of the Pope's family residence, was relatively restrained, but the interiors, and especially the immense fresco on the ceiling of the salon, the Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power painted by Pietro da Cortona, are considered masterpieces of Baroque art and decoration. [15] Curving facades and the illusion of movement were a speciality of Francesco Borromini, most notably in San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1634–1646), one of the landmarks of the high Baroque. [16] Another important monument of the period was the Church of Santi Luca e Martina in Rome by Pietro da Cortona (1635–50), in the form of a Greek cross with an elegant dome. After the death or Urban VIII and the brief reign of his successor, the Papacy of Pope Alexander VII from 1666 until 1667 saw more construction of Baroque churches, squares and fountains in Rome by Carlo Rainaldi, Bernini and Carlo Fontana. [17]


King Louis XIII had sent the architect Jacques Lemercier to Rome between 1607 and 1614 to study the new style. On his return to France, he designed the Pavillon de l’Horloge of the Louvre Palace (beginning 1626), and, more importantly, the Church of the Sorbonne, the first church dome in Paris. It was designed in 1626, and construction began in 1635. [18] The next important French Baroque project was a much larger dome for the church of Val-de-Grace begun in 1645 by Lemercier and François Mansart, and finished in 1715. A third Baroque dome was soon added for the College of the Four Nations (now the Institut de France).

In 1661, following the death of Cardinal Mazarin, the young Louis XIV took direct charge of the government. The arts were put under the direction of his controller of finance, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Charles Le Brun, director of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, was named Superintendent of Buildings of the King, in charge of all royal architectural projects. The Royal Academy of Architecture was founded in 1671, with the mission of making Paris, not Rome, the artistic and architectural model for the world. [19]

The first architectural project of Louis XIV was a proposed reconstruction of the facade of the east wing of the Louvre Palace. Bernini, then Europe's most famous architect, was summoned to Paris to submit a project. Beginning in 1664, Bernini proposed several Baroque variants, but in the end the King selected a design by a French architect, Charles Perrault, in a more classical variant of Baroque. This gradually became the Louis XIV style. Louis was soon engaged in an even larger project, the construction of the new Palace of Versailles. The architects chosen were Louis Le Vau and Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and the facades of the new palace were constructed around the earlier Marble Court between 1668 and 1678. The Baroque grandeur of Versailles, particularly the facade facing the garden and the Hall of Mirrors by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, became models for other palaces across Europe. [20]

Late Baroque (1675–1750)

During the period of the Late Baroque (1675–1750), the style appeared across Europe, from England and France to Central Europe and Russia, from Spain and Portugal to Scandinavia, and in the colonies of Spain and Portugal in the New World. It often took different names, and the regional variations became more distinct. A particularly ornate variant appeared in the early 18th century, called Rocaille in France and Rococo in Spain and Central Europe. The sculpted and painted decoration covering every space on the walls and ceiling. The most prominent architects of this style included Balthasar Neumann, noted for the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and the Wurzburg Residence (1749–51). These works were among the final expressions of the Rococo or the Late Baroque. [6]


By the early 18th century, Baroque buildings could be found in all parts of Italy, often with regional variations. Notable examples included the Basilica of Superga, overlooking Turin, by Filippo Juvarra (1717–1731), which was later used as model for the Panthéon in Paris. [21] The Stupinigi Palace (1729–31) was a hunting lodge and one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy near Turin. It was also built Filippo Juvarra.


The Late Baroque period in France saw the evolving decoration of the Palace of Versailles, including the Hall of Mirrors and the Chapel. Later in the period, during the reign of Louis XV, a new, more ornate variant, the Rocaille style, or French Rococo, appeared in Paris and flourished between about 1723 and 1759. [22] The most prominent example was the salon of the Princess in Hôtel de Soubise in Paris, designed by Germain Boffrand and Charles-Joseph Natoire (1735–40). [23] [24]

The Rocaille style lasted until the mid-18th century. It never achieved the extravagant exuberance of the Rococo in Bavaria, Austria and Italy. The discoveries of Roman antiquities beginning in 1738 at Herculanum and especially at Pompeii in 1748 turned French architecture in the direction of the more symmetrical and less flamboyant neo-classicism.


Christopher Wren was the leading figure of the late Baroque in England, with his reconstruction of St. Paul's Cathedral (1675–1711) inspired by the model of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, his plan for Greenwich Hospital (begun 1695), and Hampton Court Palace (1690–96). Other British figures of the late Baroque included Inigo Jones for Wilton House (1632–1647 and two pupils of Wren, John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, for Castle Howard (1699–1712) and Blenheim Palace (1705–1724). [25]

Central Europe

Many of the most extraordinary buildings of the Late Baroque were constructed in Austria, Germany, and Czechia. In Austria, the leading figure was Fischer von Erlach, who built the Karlskirche, the largest church of Vienna, to glorify the Austrian Emperors. These works sometimes borrowed elements from Versailles combined with elements of the Italian Baroque to create grandiose new effects, as in the Schwarzenberg Palace (1715). Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt used grand stairways and ellipses to achieve his effects at the upper and lower Belvedere Palace in Vienna (1714–1722). In The Abbey of Melk, Jakob Prandtauer used an abundance of polychrome marble and stucco, statuary and ceiling paintings to achieve harmonious and highly theatrical effects. [26]

Another important figure of German Baroque was Balthasar Neumann (1687–1753), whose works included the Würzburg Residence for the Prince-Bishops at Würzburg, with its famous staircase. [27]

In Bohemia, the leading Baroque architect was Christoph Dientzenhofer, whose building featured complex curves and counter-curves and elliptical forms, making Prague, like Vienna, a capital of the late Baroque. [28]


Political and economic crises in the 17th century largely delayed the arrival of the Baroque in Span until the late period, though it was strongly promoted by the Jesuits. Its early characteristics were a lavish exterior contrasting with a relatively simple interior, and the use of the multiple spaces and carefully planned lighting in the interior to give an impression of mystery. early 18th century, [29] Notable Spanish examples included the new west facade of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, (1738–50), with its spectacular towers, by Fernando de Casas Novoa. In Seville, Leonardo de Figueroa was the creator of the College of San Telmo, with a facade inspired by Italian Baroque. The most ornate works of the Spanish Baroque were made by Jose Benito de Churriguera in Madrid and Salamanca. In his work, the buildings are nearly overwhelmed by ornament of gilded wood, gigantic twisting columns, and sculpted vegetation. His two brothers, Joaquin and Alberto, also made important, if less ornamented, contributions to what became known simply as the Churrigueresque style. [29]

Latin America

The Baroque style was imported into Latin America in the 17th century by the Spanish and the Portuguese, particularly by the Jesuits for the construction of churches. The style was sometimes called Churrigueresque, after the family of Baroque architects in Salamanca. A particularly fine example is Zacatecas Cathedral in Zacatecas City, in north-central Mexico, with its lavishly sculpted facade and twin bell towers. Another important example is San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico. [30] A notable example in Brazil is the Monastery of Sao Bento in Rio de Janeiro. begun in 1617, with additional decoration after 1668. The Metropolitan Tabernacle the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, to the right of the main cathedral, built by Lorenzo Rodríguez between 1749 and 1760, to house the archives and vestments of the archbishop, and to receive visitors. [31]

Portuguese colonial architecture was modeled after the architecture of Lisbon, different from the Spanish style. The most notable architect in Brazil was Aleijadinho, who was native of Brazil, half-Portuguese, and self-taught. His most famous work is the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Ouro Preto. [32]


Baroque architecture often used visual and theatrical effects, designed to surprise and awe the viewer:


Major Baroque architects and works, by country

Santa Susanna, Rome Santa Susanna (Rome) - Front.jpg
Santa Susanna, Rome
The Dome of Les Invalides, Paris Cathedrale Saint-Louis-des-Invalides, 140309 2.jpg
The Dôme of Les Invalides, Paris




Greenwich Hospital by Sir Christopher Wren (1694) Greenwich Hospital from Thames.jpg
Greenwich Hospital by Sir Christopher Wren (1694)

The Netherlands


The Zwinger in Dresden by Matthaus Daniel Poppelmann (1697-1716) Drezno, Zwinger, Pawilon Walowy(4).jpg
The Zwinger in Dresden by Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann (1697–1716)
Upper Belvedere Palace in Vienna (1721-23) Wien - Schloss Belvedere, oberes (4).JPG
Upper Belvedere Palace in Vienna (1721–23)
Troja Palace, Prague (1679-1691) Trojsky zamek Praha 7, Troja 20180404 023.jpg
Troja Palace, Prague (1679–1691)


Czech Republic



St. George's Cathedral of Timisoara by Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach Timisoara Dome.jpg
St. George's Cathedral of Timișoara by Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach
Roman Catholic Church of Sibiu in Transylvania (1726-33) Biserica catolica din Sibiu.jpg
Roman Catholic Church of Sibiu in Transylvania (1726-33)



Church of Santa Engracia, Lisbon (now National Pantheon of Portugal; begun 1681) Panteao Nacional (2528394095).jpg
Church of Santa Engrácia, Lisbon (now National Pantheon of Portugal; begun 1681)


Portuguese Colonial Baroque

Interior of the Basilica and Convent of Nossa Senhora do Carmo in Recife, Brazil, buil between 1665 and 1767 Altar-mor da Basilica de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil.jpg
Interior of the Basilica and Convent of Nossa Senhora do Carmo in Recife, Brazil, buil between 1665 and 1767


Spanish Colonial Baroque

Havana Cathedral, Cuba, built between 1748 and 1777. Cathedral (3209489947).jpg
Havana Cathedral, Cuba, built between 1748 and 1777.


Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen (1682-1747) Copenhagen - Church of Our Saviour - 2013.jpg
Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen (1682–1747)

Nordic Countries


Smolny Convent Smolny Cathedral SPB 02.jpg
Smolny Convent


The Mariyinsky Palace in Kiev (1744-1752) Mariinsky Palace, Kiev.jpg
The Mariyinsky Palace in Kiev (1744–1752)


See also

Related Research Articles

Baroque Artistic style in Europe and colonies, c. 1600–1750

The Baroque is a style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s. In the territories of the Spanish and Portuguese empires including the Iberian Peninsula it continued, together with new styles, until the first decade of the 1800s. It followed Renaissance art and Mannerism and preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles. It was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture, art and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well.

Francesco Borromini Italian architect and leading figure in Roman Baroque architecture

Francesco Borromini, byname of Francesco Castelli, was an Italian architect born in the modern Swiss canton of Ticino who, with his contemporaries Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona, was a leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini Italian sculptor and architect

Gian LorenzoBernini was an Italian sculptor and architect. While a major figure in the world of architecture, he was, also and even more prominently, the leading sculptor of his age, credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. As one scholar has commented, "What Shakespeare is to drama, Bernini may be to sculpture: the first pan-European sculptor whose name is instantaneously identifiable with a particular manner and vision, and whose influence was inordinately powerful...." In addition, he was a painter and a man of the theater: he wrote, directed and acted in plays, for which he designed stage sets and theatrical machinery. He produced designs as well for a wide variety of decorative art objects including lamps, tables, mirrors, and even coaches.

St. Peters Basilica Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, or simply Saint Peter's Basilica, is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City, the papal enclave which is within the city of Rome.

Architecture of cathedrals and great churches

The architecture of cathedrals and great churches is characterised by the buildings' large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that derive ultimately from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in Late Antiquity during the Christianization of the Roman Empire.

Pietro da Cortona Italian painter and architect of the High Baroque (1596-1669)

Pietro da Cortona was an Italian Baroque painter and architect. Along with his contemporaries and rivals Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, he was one of the key figures in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important designer of interior decorations.

Filippo Juvarra Italian architect and stage set designer

Filippo Juvarra was an Italian architect, active in a late-Baroque style, who worked primarily in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Church of the Gesù Church in Rome, Italy

The Church of the Gesù is the mother church of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Catholic religious order. Officially named Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina, its facade is "the first truly baroque façade", introducing the baroque style into architecture. The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit churches all over the world, especially in the Americas. Its paintings in the nave, crossing, and side chapels became models for Jesuit churches throughout Italy and Europe, as well as those of other orders. The Church of the Gesù is located in the Piazza del Gesù in Rome.

St. Peters Square plaza in Vatican City

St. Peter's Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus considered by Catholics to be the first Pope.

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach Sculptor and architect from Austria (1656-1723)

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach was an Austrian architect, sculptor, and architectural historian whose Baroque architecture profoundly influenced and shaped the tastes of the Habsburg Empire. His influential book A Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture (1721) was one of the first and most popular comparative studies of world architecture. His major works include Schönbrunn Palace, Karlskirche, and the Austrian National Library in Vienna, and Schloss Klessheim, Holy Trinity Church, and the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg.

SantAndrea della Valle church dedicated to Saint Andrew in Rome

Sant'Andrea della Valle is a minor basilica in the rione of Sant'Eustachio of the city of Rome, Italy. The basilica is the general seat for the religious order of the Theatines. It is located at Piazza Vidoni, 6 at the intersection of Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Corso Rinascimento.

Carlo Maderno Swiss-Italian architect

Carlo Maderno (Maderna) was an Italian architect, born in today's Ticino, who is remembered as one of the fathers of Baroque architecture. His façades of Santa Susanna, St. Peter's Basilica and Sant'Andrea della Valle were of key importance in the evolution of the Italian Baroque. He is often referred to as the brother of sculptor Stefano Maderno, but this is not universally agreed upon.

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane church

The church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, also called San Carlino, is a Roman Catholic church in Rome, Italy. The church was designed by the architect Francesco Borromini and it was his first independent commission. It is an iconic masterpiece of Baroque architecture, built as part of a complex of monastic buildings on the Quirinal Hill for the Spanish Trinitarians, an order dedicated to the freeing of Christian slaves. He received the commission in 1634, under the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, whose palace was across the road. However, this financial backing did not last and subsequently the building project suffered various financial difficulties. It is one of at least three churches in Rome dedicated to San Carlo, including San Carlo ai Catinari and San Carlo al Corso.

Carlo Fontana Swiss architect

Carlo Fontana was an Italian architect originating from today's Canton Ticino, who was in part responsible for the classicizing direction taken by Late Baroque Roman architecture.

French Baroque architecture architecture of the Baroque era in France

French Baroque architecture, sometimes called French classicism, was a style of architecture during the reigns of Louis XIII (1610–43), Louis XIV (1643–1715) and Louis XV (1715–74). It was preceded by French Renaissance architecture and Mannerism and was followed in the second half of the 18th century by French Neoclassical architecture. The style was originally inspired by the Italian Baroque architecture style, but, particularly under Louis XIV, it gave greater emphasis to regularity, the colossal order of facades, and the use of colonnades and cupolas, to symbolize the power and grandeur of the King. Notable examples of the style include the Grand Trianon of the Palace of Versailles, and the dome of Les Invalides in Paris. In the final years of Louis XIV and the reign of Louis XV, the colossal orders gradually disappeared, the style became lighter and saw the introduction of wrought iron decoration in rocaille designs. The period also saw the introduction of monumental urban squares in Paris and other cities, notably Place Vendôme and the Place de la Concorde. The style profoundly influenced 18th-century secular architecture throughout Europe; the Palace of Versailles and the French formal garden were copied by other courts all over Europe.

San Giovanni dei Fiorentini church in Rome

San Giovanni dei Fiorentini is a minor basilica and a titular church in the Ponte rione of Rome, Italy.

Italian Baroque movement in art and architecture

Italian Baroque is a stylistic period in Italian history and art that spanned from the late 16th century to the early 18th century.

Italian Baroque architecture style of architecture

Italian Baroque architecture refers to Baroque architecture in Italy.

Style Louis XIV Style of Louis XIV period; baroque style with classical elements

The Style Louis XIV or Louis Quatorze, also called French classicism, was the style of architecture and decorative arts intended to glorify King Louis XIV and his reign. It featured majesty, harmony and regularity. It became the official style during the reign of Louis XIV (1643–1715), imposed upon artists by the newly established Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture and the Académie royale d'architecture. It had an important influence upon the architecture of other European monarchs, from Frederick the Great of Prussia to Peter the Great of Russia. Major architects of the period included François Mansart, Jules Hardouin Mansart, Robert de Cotte, Pierre Le Muet, Charles Perrault, and Louis Le Vau. Major monuments included the Palace of Versailles, the Grand Trianon at Versailles, and the Church of Les Invalides (1675–91).

Neoclassicism in France

Neoclassicism is a movement in architecture, design and the arts which was dominant in France between about 1760 to 1830. It emerged as a reaction to the frivolity and excessive ornament of the baroque and rococo styles. In architecture it featured sobriety, straight lines, and forms, such as the pediment and colonnade, based on Ancient Greek and Roman models. In painting it featured heroism and sacrifice in the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks. It began late in the reign of Louis XV, became dominant under Louis XVI, and continued through the French Revolution, the French Directory, and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Bourbon Restoration until 1830, when it was gradually replaced as the dominant style by romanticism and eclecticism.


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