Spanish Baroque architecture

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Royal Palace of Madrid (1738-1892) Royal Palace of Madrid 02.jpg
Royal Palace of Madrid (1738–1892)

Spanish Baroque is a strand of Baroque architecture that evolved in Spain, its provinces, and former colonies.

Contents

History

Plaza Mayor in Madrid Plaza Mayor de Madrid 02.jpg
Plaza Mayor in Madrid

As Italian Baroque influences penetrated across the Pyrenees, they gradually superseded in popularity the restrained classicizing approach of Juan de Herrera, which had been in vogue since the late sixteenth century. As early as 1667, the facades of Granada Cathedral (by Alonso Cano) and Jaén Cathedral (by Eufrasio López de Rojas) suggest the artists' fluency in interpreting traditional motifs of Spanish cathedral architecture in the Baroque aesthetic idiom.

In Madrid, a vernacular Baroque with its roots in Herrerian and in traditional brick construction was developed in the Plaza Mayor and in the Royal Palace of El Buen Retiro, which was destroyed during the French invasion by Napoleon's troops. Its gardens still remain as Parque del Buen Retiro. This sober brick Baroque of the 17th century is still well represented in the streets of the capital in palaces and squares.

Estipite in the Basilica of Vera Cruz in Caravaca de la Cruz Caravaca de la Cruz castle column.JPG
Estipite in the Basilica of Vera Cruz in Caravaca de la Cruz

In contrast to the art of Northern Europe, the Spanish art of the period appealed to the emotions rather than seeking to please the intellect. The Churriguera family, which specialized in designing altars and retables, revolted against the sobriety of the Herreresque classicism and promoted an intricate, exaggerated, almost capricious style of surface decoration known as the Churrigueresque. Within half a century, they transformed Salamanca into an exemplary Churrigueresque city.

The development of the style passed through three phases. Between 1680 and 1720, the Churriguera popularized Guarini's blend of Solomonic columns and Composite order, known as the "supreme order". Between 1720 and 1760, the Churrigueresque column, or estipite, in the shape of an inverted cone or obelisk, was established as a central element of ornamental decoration. The years from 1760 to 1780 saw a gradual shift of interest away from twisted movement and excessive ornamentation toward a neoclassical balance and sobriety.

El Transparente of the Cathedral of Toledo Transparent at the Cathedral of Toledo (2).JPG
El Transparente of the Cathedral of Toledo

Three of the most eye-catching creations of Spanish Baroque are the energetic facades of the University of Valladolid (Diego Tome and Fray Pedro de la Visitación, 1719), the western façade (or Fachada del Obradoiro) of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Fernando de Casas y Novoa, 1750), and the Hospicio de San Fernando in Madrid (Pedro de Ribera, 1722), whose curvilinear extravagance seems to herald Antonio Gaudí and Modernisme. In this case as in many others, the design involves a play of tectonic and decorative elements with little relation to structure and function. The focus of the florid ornamentation is an elaborately sculptured surround to a main doorway. If we remove the intricate maze of broken pediments, undulating cornices, stucco shells, inverted tapers and garlands from the rather plain wall it is set against, the building's form would not be affected in the slightest. However, Churrigueresque Baroque offered some of the most impressive combinations of space and light with buildings like Granada Charterhouse (sacristy by Francisco Hurtado Izquierdo), considered to be the apotheosis of Churrigueresque styles applied to interior spaces, or El Transparente of the Cathedral of Toledo by Narciso Tomé, where sculpture and architecture are integrated to achieve notable light dramatic effects.

The Royal Palace of Madrid and the interventions of Paseo del Prado (Salón del Prado and Alcalá Doorgate) in the same city, deserve special mention. They were constructed in a sober Baroque international style, often mistaken for neoclassical, by the kings Philip V and Charles III. The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso in Segovia and the Royal Palace of Aranjuez in Aranjuez are good examples of Baroque integration of architecture and gardening, with noticeable French influence (La Granja is known as the "Spanish Versailles"), but with local spatial conceptions which in some ways display the heritage of the Moorish occupation.

In the richest imperial province of 17th-century Spain, Flanders, florid decorative detailing was more tightly knit to the structure, thus precluding concerns of superfluity. A remarkable convergence of Spanish, French and Dutch Baroque aesthetics may be seen in the Abbey of Averbode (1667). Another characteristic example is the Church of St. Michel at Louvain (1650–70), with its exuberant two-storey facade, clusters of half-columns, and the complex aggregation of French-inspired sculptural detailing.

Six decades later, the architect Jaime Bort y Meliá was the first to introduce Rococo to Spain (Cathedral of Murcia, west facade, 1733). The greatest practitioner of the Spanish Rococo style was a native master, Ventura Rodríguez, responsible for the dazzling interior of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza (1750).

Spanish/Hispanic America

Monastery of San Francisco de Asis, Lima, 1673. San Francisco de Lima (pixinn.net).jpg
Monastery of San Francisco de Asís, Lima, 1673.

The combination of the Native American and Moorish decorative influences with an extremely expressive interpretation of the Churrigueresque idiom may account for the full-bodied and varied character of the Baroque in the American colonies of Spain. Even more than its Spanish counterpart, American Baroque developed as a style of stucco decoration. Twin-towered facades of many American cathedrals of the seventeenth century had medieval roots and the full-fledged Baroque did not appear until 1664, when the Jesuit shrine on Plaza des Armas in Cusco was built. Even then, the new style hardly affected the structure of churches.

The Peruvian Baroque was particularly lush, as evidenced by the monastery of San Francisco in Lima (1673), which has a dark intricate facade sandwiched between the yellow twin towers. Followed the model of Il Gesù (also the case of the Jesuit Church of St. Paul in Lima, provincial "mestizo" (crossbred) styles emerged in Arequipa, Potosí and La Paz. In the eighteenth century, the architects of the region turned for inspiration to the Mudéjar art of medieval Spain. The late Baroque type of Peruvian facade first appears in the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, Lima (1697–1704). Similarly, the Iglesia de La Compañia, Quito (1722–65) suggests a carved altarpiece with its richly sculpted facade and a surfeit of Solomonic column.

The facade of the church of Ss. Sebastian y Santa Prisca in Taxco (1751-58) bristles with Mexican Churrigueresque ornamentation. Taxco Santa Prisca.jpg
The facade of the church of Ss. Sebastian y Santa Prisca in Taxco (1751–58) bristles with Mexican Churrigueresque ornamentation.

To the north, the richest province of 18th-century New Spain – Mexico – produced some fantastically extravagant and visually frenetic architecture known as Mexican Churrigueresque. This ultra-Baroque approach culminates in the works of Lorenzo Rodriguez, whose masterpiece is the Sagrario Metropolitano in Mexico City (1749–69). Other fine examples of the style may be found in the remote silver-mining towns. For instance, the Sanctuary at Ocotlán (begun in 1745) is a top-notch Baroque cathedral surfaced in bright red tiles, which contrast delightfully with a plethora of compressed ornament lavishly applied to the main entrance and the slender flanking towers (exterior, interior).

The true capital of Mexican Baroque is Puebla, where a ready supply of hand-painted figurines (talavera) and vernacular gray stone led to its evolving further into a personalised and highly localised art form with a pronounced Indian flavour. There are about sixty churches whose facades and domes display glazed tiles of many colours, often arranged in Arabic designs. Their interiors are densely saturated with elaborate gold leaf ornamentation. In the 18th century, local artisans developed a distinctive brand of white stucco decoration, named "alfeñique" after a Pueblan candy made from egg whites and sugar.

Earthquake Baroque is a style of Baroque architecture found in the Philippines, which suffered destructive earthquakes during the 17th century and 18th century, where large public buildings, such as churches, were rebuilt in a Baroque style. [1] In the Philippines, destruction of earlier churches from frequent earthquakes have made the church proportion lower and wider; side walls were made thicker and heavily buttressed for stability during shaking. The upper structures were made with lighter materials. [2] Bell towers are usually lower and stouter compared to towers in less seismically active regions of the world. [3] Towers have thicker girth in the lower levels, progressively narrowing to the topmost level. [2] In some churches of the Philippines, aside from functioning as watchtowers against pirates, some bell towers are detached from the main church building to avoid damage in case of a falling bell tower due to an earthquake.

Spanish/Hispanic Asia and Pacific

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.

Rococo 18th-century artistic movement and style

Rococo, less commonly Roccoco or Late Baroque, is an exceptionally ornamental and theatrical style of architecture, art and decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colors, sculpted molding, and trompe l'oeil frescoes to create surprise and the illusion of motion and drama. It is often described as the final expression of the Baroque movement.

Baroque architecture Building style of the Baroque era

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. 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.

Spanish Colonial architecture architectural style

Spanish Colonial architecture represents Spanish colonial influence on New World and East Indies' cities and towns, and it is still being seen in the architecture as well as in the city planning aspects of conserved present-day cities. These two visible aspects of the city are connected and complementary. The 16th century Laws of the Indies included provisions for the layout of new colonial settlements in the Americas and elsewhere.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Roman Catholic cathedral of the archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain

The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela and is an integral component of the Santiago de Compostela World Heritage Site in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial place of Saint James the Great, the apostle of Jesus Christ. It is also one of the only three known churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus, the other two being St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Chennai in India.

Earthquake Baroque Baroque architecture in the Philippines intended to resist earthquakes.

Earthquake Baroque is a style of Baroque architecture found in the Philippines, which suffered destructive earthquakes during the 17th century and 18th century, where large public buildings, such as churches, were rebuilt in a Baroque style during the Spanish Colonial period in the country.

Plateresque architectural style

Plateresque, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith", was an artistic movement, especially architectural, developed in Spain and its territories, which appeared between the late Gothic and early Renaissance in the late 15th century, and spread over the next two centuries. It is a modification of Gothic spatial concepts and an eclectic blend of Mudéjar, Flamboyant Gothic and Lombard decorative components, as well as Renaissance elements of Tuscan origin.

Churrigueresque Baroque architecture style in Spain

Churrigueresque, in a lesser extent it was also called "Ultra Baroque", refers to a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architectural ornament which emerged as a manner of stucco decoration in Spain in the late 17th century and was used up to about 1750, marked by extreme, expressive and florid decorative detailing, normally found above the entrance on the main facade of a building.

The Churriguera family consisted of at least two generations of Spanish sculptors and architects, originally from Barcelona, but who had their greatest impact in Salamanca. The highly decorated Churrigueresque style of architectural construction is named after the family.

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral cathedral in Mexico

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven is the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. It is situated atop the former Aztec sacred precinct near the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo) in Downtown Mexico City. The cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813 around the original church that was constructed soon after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan, eventually replacing it entirely. Spanish architect Claudio de Arciniega planned the construction, drawing inspiration from Gothic cathedrals in Spain.

Spanish architecture

Spanish architecture refers to architecture in any area of what is now Spain, and by Spanish architects worldwide. The term includes buildings which were constructed within the current borders of Spain prior to its existence as a nation, when the land was called Iberia, Hispania, Al-Andalus or was divided between several Christian kingdoms. Drawing from many different sources, Spanish architecture demonstrates great historical and geographical diversity. Spanish architecture tended to develop along similar lines as other architectural styles around the Mediterranean and from Northern Europe.

José Benito de Churriguera Spanish architect

José Benito de Churriguera was a Spanish architect, sculptor and urbanist of the late-Baroque or Rococo style. He was born in Madrid to a Catalan cabinetmaker, gilder and altarpiece joiner, Josep Simó Xoriguera i Elies and to doña Maria de Ocaña, and studied under his father along with two of his brothers.

French architecture

French architecture ranks high among France's many accomplishments. Indications of the special importance of architecture in France were the founding of the Academy of Architecture in 1671, the first such institution anywhere in Europe, and the establishment in 1720 of the Prix de Rome in architecture, a competition of national interest, funded by the state, and an honor intensely pursued. If the first period of France's preeminent achievement was the Gothic, and the second, the eighteenth century, the longer tradition of French architecture has always been an esteemed one.

Rococo architecture in Portugal

Rococo architecture entered Portugal through the north, while Lisbon, due to the court pomp, remained in the Baroque. It is an architecture that follows the international taste in decoration, and, as a result of the contrast between dark granite and white walls, has a clearly Portuguese profile. The decoration is naturalist, based mainly in shells and leaves but also with architectural elements and sculpture. Pilgrimage places became fashionable, often built in places of rough prominence, allowing impressive staircases of big scenographic effect. André Soares worked in the region of Braga, and produced some of the main examples such as Falperra Church, Congregados Basilica, the Braga City Hall, and Raio Palace, among many others. The number of buildings and architects is large and, because the north of Portugal was spared from the ravages of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, there is a large number of buildings.

Architecture of Mexico

Many of Mexico's older architectural structures, including entire sections of Pre-Hispanic and colonial cities, have been designated World Heritage sites for their historical and artistic significance. The country has the largest number of sites declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in the Americas.

Valladolid Cathedral cultural property in Valladolid, Spain

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption, better known as Valladolid Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church in Valladolid, Spain. The main layout was designed by Juan de Herrera in a Renaissance-style.

Peruvian colonial architecture

The Peruvian colonial architecture, developed in the Viceroyalty of Peru between the 16th and 19th centuries, was characterized by the importation and adaptation of European architectural styles to the Peruvian reality, yielding an original architecture.

Church of la Compañía de Jesús, Quito

The Church of the Society of Jesus, known colloquially as la Compañía, is a Jesuit church in Quito, Ecuador. It is among the best-known churches in Quito because of its large central nave, which is profusely decorated with gold leaf, gilded plaster and wood carvings. Inspired by two Roman Jesuit churches — the Chiesa del Gesù (1580) and the Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola (1650) — la Compañía is one of the most significant works of Spanish Baroque architecture in South America. It is Quito's most ornate church and the country's most beautiful.

Monastery of Uclés cultural property in Uclés, Spain

The Monastery de Santiago de Uclés is in the Spanish town of Uclés in Castile-La Mancha and was built by the Order of Santiago, whose main headquarters was in that town.

Elizabethan Baroque Russian baroque architectural style, developed during the reign of Elizabeth of Russia, between 1741 and 1762

Elizabethan Baroque is a term for the Russian Baroque architectural style, developed during the reign of Elizabeth of Russia between 1741 and 1762. It is also called style Rocaille or Rococo style. The Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli is the key figure of this trend, which is still given the name 'Rastrellian Baroque'. The Russian architect Savva Chevakinsky is also a renowned figure representing this style.

References

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