Friday, June 4, 2010


Tomorrow we have a Baroque Party at T.R.A.C.S.
Baroque is an artistic style prevalent from the late 16th century to the early 18th century. It is most often defined as "the dominant style of art in Europe between the Mannerist and Rococo eras, a style characterized by dynamic movement, overt emotion and self-confident rhetoric".
The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation, that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement. The aristocracy also saw the dramatic style of Baroque architecture and art as a means of impressing visitors and expressing triumphant power and control. Baroque palaces are built around an entrance of courts, grand staircases and reception rooms of sequentially increasing opulence.

Baroque Fashion
We can learn about Baroque fashion through writings, drawings and artwork that have survived through time to today. While drawings and paintings can give us vivid images, these images are somewhat limiting. This is because artists had to be paid for their work and the poor didn't have any money.
Existing portraits are usually of those from the wealthier classes.
During the early Baroque period, men might have hair down to the shoulders and a Van Dyke beard and mustache. Women's long hair would be drawn upwards into a wire frame.
Men's clothing was quite fancy. A man might wear a hat with a plume to a ball or a beaver hat with a cocked brim. His collar could be a cartwheel ruff. Think of a bunch of layers of fluffy fabric sticking out from your neck. Otherwise, the collar would be a falling ruff, which is similar to a cartwheel ruff except the collar lays on the man's shoulders. A man's shirt might have laced cuffs. His pantaloons would end below the knees. He could also wear stockings and his boots might have spurs. Men continued to out-fashion the ladies during the late Baroque. Men's hair grew below the collar, with curly hair being particularly popular. Men would also wear wigs and sport goatees. As the Baroque era progressed, women's hair came down, was parted in the middle and had bangs. During the end of the Baroque period, women built their hair up again into do's that might be almost 24 inches tall.
It wasn't men's hair that really outdid the women, it was men's clothing. Men started to wear wider breeches or petticoat breeches, which resembled women's skirts. The petticoat breeches might be trimmed with ribbon. Men could choose to wear a short coat that ended before hitting the waist, leaving part of the shirt underneath visible. Men would wear stockings and high heeled shoes decorated with rosettes or bows. They might have a cravat instead of a collar. While some men continued to wear beaver hats; others chose tricorn hats.

Baroque music

Baroque music forms a major portion of the classical music canon, being widely studied, performed, and listened to. It is associated with composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Arcangelo Corelli, Claudio Monteverdi, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Henry Purcell. The baroque period saw the development of functional tonality. During the period, composers and performers used more elaborate musical ornamentation, made changes in musical notation, and developed new instrumental playing techniques. Baroque music expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance, and also established opera as a musical genre. Many musical terms and concepts from this era are still in use today.

Baroque painting

Among the greatest painters of the Baroque period are Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez, Poussin, and Vermeer. Baroque painting often dramatizes scenes using chiaroscuro light effects; this can be seen in works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Le Nain and La Tour. The prosperity of 17th century Holland led to an enormous production of art by large numbers of painters who were mostly highly specialized and painted only genre scenes, landscapes, Night Watch or The Night Watch (Dutch: De Nachtwacht) is the common name of one of the most famous works by Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn.
The painting may be more properly titled The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch. It is on prominent display in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, being the most famous painting in their collection.

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