Baroque and Rococo

The Baroque and Rococo art designs have originated in Europe and share specific characteristics. Both are known for their ornate decorations and meticulous attention to detail. They exude opulence, creating a glimpse of elegance and otherworldliness. By the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque had spread across Europe, beginning in Rome in the early 1600s. In the early 18th century, Rococo architecture influenced the French art scene.

The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini (1651)

Both types may seem to be nearly identical, but they have distinct variations. Rococo departed from the previous Baroque style, named after Rocaille (mussels) and Coque (seashell). The word “baroque” came from the Portuguese word “barroco,” which means “flawed pearl.” Their similarities and variations are noteworthy and important, despite their nautical term roots and general design. Unlike Baroque painting, which exudes masculine energy and appearance, Rococo art exudes a more demure, very appealing, feminine aura.


Chiesa di San Agnese in Agone, Rome

During the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church commissioned sculpture in the Baroque style to keep its adherents. The austere, stark, and dull Protestant faith was a stark contrast to Baroque architecture. The drama of this modern art form, Catholic leaders believed, would inspire awe and emotion, making Catholicism the better choice. With this in mind, Baroque art served as a Catholic Church propaganda weapon.

Peter Paul Rubens, The Presentation of the Portrait of Marie de’ Medici, c. 1622-1625, oil on canvas, 394 x 295 cm (Musée du Louvre)

The Marie d’Medici Cycle by Peter Paul Rubens is a complete example of the Baroque style in France. The Luxembourg Palace houses this collection of 24 paintings. Its vivid and intricate panels depict the pomp and ceremony that accompanied Louis XIV’s reign. Following Louis XV’s accession to the throne, the French elite shifted their attention away from public demonstrations of influence and toward anonymity. Louis XV also altered Versailles to become a more secluded private residence.

Difference between Designs of Baroque and Rococo

The intensity of Baroque art is well-known. It’s high-octane, with dramatic action, swirling imagery, and tension pulling on the compositions. Baroque music was a radical departure from the earlier Renaissance and Mannerist periods’ peaceful, classical works. Everything points to a focal axis in the architecture, which is colossal. In Baroque architecture, the altar is frequently the focal point. The church is built around the altar in such a way that it draws awe-inspiring attention to it. This film provides an inside look at an Italian Baroque church.

Paintings and building styles throughout the Baroque period were distorted and illusionistic. The artists used trompe l’oeil, and the art invaded the space of the observer. The use of chiaroscuro, characterized by a dramatic contrast between light and dark with the light originating from a precise point, is well-known in Baroque paintings.

Rococo art is intimate, inner places, most notably in salons. The Rococo style, like Baroque art, is ornamental and highly ornate, but on a much smaller scale. It also avoids the rigorous symmetry of Baroque décor and architecture, favoring a more relaxed, natural atmosphere. Shells and gilded metal in the form of twisted vines are frequently in Rococo flourishes.

Ceiling of the Salon of Hercules by François Lemoyne (1735)

Pastel hues were used instead of dark chiaroscuro, allowing light to sweep over the whole landscape. These pieces are airy and artistically pleasing. The subjects’ faces are lovely, with delicate features, and their bodies shroud with gorgeous flowing gowns and dashing outfits. The scenes allow you to relax and enjoy the humorous, romantic sights.

Italian Baroque

The Italian High Baroque was known for its painted ceilings adorned with angels and saints, as well as trompe-l’œil architectural aspects. The Triumph of the Name of Jesus by Giovanni Battista Gaulli in the Church of the Gesù in Rome featured figures spilling out of the picture frame and dramatic oblique lighting and light-dark contrasts, and The Entry of Saint Ignatius into Paradise by Andrea Pozzo (1685–1695) in the Church of Saint Ignatius in Rome (1685–1695) in the Church of Saint Ignatius in Rome (1685–1695) in the Church.

The style swiftly spread from Rome to other parts of Italy, including Venice, where it was in Baldassare Longhena’s church of Santa Maria Della Salute (1631–1687), a very distinctive octagonal structure surmounted by a vast dome. In Turin, most notably in Guarino Guarini’s Chapel of the Holy Shroud (1668–1694). Guarini created the Palazzo Carignano in Turin, while Longhena designed the Ca’ Rezzonico on the Grand Canal (1657), completed by Giorgio Massari and embellished with paintings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

Spanish Baroque

Spanish Baroque architecture is influence by the Catholic Church, namely the Jesuits. The San Isidro Chapel in Madrid, completed in 1643 by Pedro de la Torre, was the first significant work in this style. It contrasted the exterior’s great richness of adornment with the interior’s minimalism, separated into various rooms and used light effects to create a feeling of mystery. The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral was modernized with Baroque additions, beginning with a highly ornate bell tower (1680), then flanked by two higher and more elaborate infrastructures called the Obradorio between 1738 and 1750 built by Fernando de Casas Novoa. The chapel tower of Leonardo de Figueroa’s Palace of San Telmo in Seville is another Spanish Baroque masterpiece.

The Churrigueresque style, named for the brothers Churriguera, who worked mainly in Salamanca and Madrid, is the most ornate and elaborately ornamented Spanish Baroque architecture. Salamanca’s central plaza, the Plaza Mayor, is among their works (1729). This highly decorative Baroque style influenced many churches and cathedrals erected by the Spanish in the Americas.

French Baroque/Classicism

France mainly rejected the grandiose Baroque style of Italy, Spain, and the rest of Europe. The French Baroque style (also known as Grand Classicism or just Classicism in France) strongly connects with works created for Louis XIV and Louis XV; it exhibits more geometric order and proportion than Baroque as less lavish ornamentation on facades and interiors. For the new wing of the Louvre, Louis XIV summoned the master of the Baroque, Bernini, to submit a design, but he rejected it in favour of a more classical design by Claude Perrault and Louis Le Vau.

Hall of Mirrors in the Versailles Palace (1678–1686)

The renovation of the Palace of Versailles began in 1661 by Le Vau and decorated by the painter Charles Le Brun, the principal royal project of the time. André Le Nôtre created the gardens expressly to match and accentuate the building. The Château’s showpiece, the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors), was built between 1678 and 1686 and had paintings by Le Brun. In 1687, Mansart finished the Grand Trianon. Following Louis XIV’s death, Louis XV erected the Petit Trianon, more private space and an elaborate theatre. The gardens’ fountains are seen from the inside and add to the dramatic appearance. Other European rulers adored and replicated the palace, especially Peter the Great of Russia, who visited Versailles early in Louis XV’s reign and erected his replica near Saint Petersburg between 1705 and 1725.

Clothing and Fashion

Natural, curved curves, flowing lines, gold filigree, rich hues, and general voluptuousness characterized the collection. Clothing was abundant in lace, pearls, ribbons, and gold embroidery, and it was refreshingly devoid of the Renaissance’s over-decorating. Fashion evolved quickly: as the middle class grew, they copied the aristocrats’ looks, and the nobility, in turn, created new styles to stay more “refined” than the middle class.

Women’s attire grew considerably more liberated. Corsets that were rigid and tight-fitting replacing with flexible stays. Stiff ruffs placed with flowing lace collars. Large farthingales and skirts were layered or cushioned at the hips—the overskirt (manteau), commonly worn with an underskirt. The middle classes got interested in decorative aprons. The décolletage, or plunging neckline, became popular, typically paired with broad lace collars.

Francois Boucher portrait of Madame Pompadour (1721-1764)

During the first half of the time, waistlines were likewise high, while long, pointed bodices and stiff stomachers returned in the second half. Sleeves were typically turned-back lace cuffs and gathered at the wrist or elbow. As time passed, they got increasingly ruffled and fragmented. Solid-coloured silks and brocades were used more frequently than patterned textiles, and lace, knotted, rosette ribbons, modest needlework, and modest pearl jewellery were the most common embellishments.

The cavalier style for males evolved in the early half of the Baroque period (see right image). Its high waists, broad lace collars, and lace cuffs were far less restricted than Renaissance trends and emulated women’s movements from earlier periods. Long, loose hair, pointed beards and moustaches, and capes slung over one shoulder were all part of this look, as were knee-high boots, frequently turned down with lace, wide-brimmed hats with feathers, long, loose hair, pointed beards and moustaches, and long, loose hair. Pantaloon breeches were loose and dropped to or below the knee.

However, as Louis XIV’s reign progressed, men’s clothing got increasingly expensive. Rhinegrave breeches, or long, loose, highly ornamented pants that ended just below the knee (and looked like skirts), were fashionable and were paired with lace cannons. Large collars with long lace ruffles or jabots on the neckline. Square-toed, high-heeled shoes returned boots with rosettes. Men curled and grew their hair past their shoulders or wore wigs in the same way.

Baroque and Rococo in the Modern Era

Guo Pei Spring 2017 Couture

Guo Pei showed her astonishing collection inside the Conciergerie, the jail where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned just before her execution. The last queen of France made a haunting reappearance, drifting down the darkened runway in a garment specifically fashioned from phosphorescent fabric to start the show. Her apparition was too faint to be photographed. A parade of 19 magnificent works two years in the making began. To say it was extravagant would be an understatement.

Elie Saab Spring 2020 Couture

The collection appeared to be in golden glints. The gowns appeared engulfed in an endless stream of curlicued embroideries, floral and pearl incrustations, and intarsia baroque swirls. Shapes seemed to blend under the weight of ruffles, swirls of rosettes, and bows, with decorations of imperial proportions. Fitted bodices and dramatic Elizabethan leg-of-mutton sleeves in the silhouettes included, which were complemented by trains and long capes.

Versace Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear

The year 2018 commemorates the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace’s horrible assassination in broad daylight in Miami Beach. Versace’s tragic death has made recount ad nauseam. Perhaps to make amends, Donatella Versace opted to hold her Spring 2018 show in Milan’s Triennale museum this evening to tribute to Gianni’s inspirations and works to commemorate his life.

Stepping over as creative director of the company, she drew vital prints and pieces from the archives from the years 1991–95, which saw some of Gianni Versace’s most iconic collections: Vogue, Warhol, My Friend Elton, Icons, Baroque, Animalia, Native Americans, Tresor de la Mer, Metal Mesh, and Butterflies. Donatella Versace reinvented the blouses, square-shouldered jackets, leggings, catsuits, corsets, trenches, tiny sheaths, and maxi skirts from each of these graphic themes.

These photos are based on my inspiration, my own view of how ancient fashion has influenced contemporary and changing fashion, it has nothing to do with the designer’s own inspiration and I don’t want to harm their brand, for me this is only for educational purposes and I hope we could have an expressive and open mind to this. Thank you.

All of the Photos are referenced to the Baroque and Rococo paintings and architecture, if you want to know the information, visit the link attached to the pictures.

Citations and Reference

Lewis, J. (2019, November 18). Baroque and Rococo Art compared: The Masculine and the Feminine. In The.Collector. Retrieved from

Wikipedia Editors. (n.d.). Baroque. In Wikipedia. Retrieved from

Westover, A. (2012, April 7). The Baroque Period in all its Grandiloquence. In Retrieved from

Verner, A. (2017, January 27). Guo Pei Spring 2017 Couture. In Vogue Runway. Retrieved from

Cardini, T. (2020, January 22). Elie Saab Spring 2020 Couture. In Vogue Runway. Retrieved from

Singer, S. (2017, September 22). Versace Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear. In Vogue Runway. Retrieved from

Published by loisgomez

I am a Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion student of Visual College of Arts & Design located in Calgary. I love Fashion, I mostly do fashion sketches and illustrations and hopefully, someday, I could have my fashion brand. Most of my posts will be about history of fashion; how it started, where it all began and so much more.

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