The Baroque is a highly ornate and often extravagant style of architecture, art, and music that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the late 18th century. It followed the Renaissance style and preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles. The Baroque style used contrast, movement, exuberant detail, deep color, grandeur, and surprise to achieve a sense of awe. The style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome, then spread rapidly to France, northern Italy, Spain, and Portugal, then to Austria and southern Germany.



The Origin of Word “BAROQUE”

The word baroque was a Portuguese term for a pearl (barocco) with an irregular shape. Cognates for the term in other Romance languages include barroco in Portuguese, barrueco in Spanish, and barocco in Italian. It was used in French to describe pearls in a 1531 inventory of Charles V’s treasures.



  • Baroque art characteristics
  • Great drama
  • Rich color
  • Intense light
  • Dark shadows
  • Emotion
  • Passion
  • Naturalis





  1. Long, narrow naves are replaced by broader, occasionally circular forms dramatic use of light, either strong light and shade contrasts “chiaroscuro effects.”
  2. Wealthy use of ornaments, plaster or stucco, marble or faux finishing.
  3. Large-Scale ceiling frescoes.
  4. The interior is often no more than a shell for painting and sculpture.
  5. Illusory effects like “trompe l’oeil.”
  6. Blending of painting and architecture.
  7. Marian and Holy Trinity columns.



During the first years of the 17th century, clothing still preserved several elements from the Renaissance. The new style didn’t immediately change clothing, and Baroque fashion started around 1620.

Style and Characteristics of Baroque Fashion

The fashion trends were mostly defined and followed by the monarchs and noble courts, who were the social class able to afford expensive attire; clothing was often big and ostentatious and designed for differentiating the nobles from the lower classes. The middle class, especially in the Netherlands where it was stronger, tried to replicate the fashion of the nobility, but usually only after a while and by using simpler outfits. For the working class, clothing didn’t change much and was more related to people’s jobs than it was to fashion trends.

During the Baroque period, silk was the preferred fabric, and sometimes velvet was used as well. Linen was common for the inner layers of clothes.



Long dresses with a close-fitting bodice, known as gowns. The silhouettes gradually softened as hard corsets from the Renaissance were replaced by flexible stays. The neckline was low, and lace collars were used for decoration. Virago sleeves, which were made of large strips of different fabrics gathered at the elbow. Elaborate patterns and dark colors were fashionable, and it was common to wear a black cape on top. The hairstyle consisted of curls on both sides of the head. Shoes were usually covered by the dress.




Men’s clothing adopted a militaristic look. A tight jacket is known as a doublet. It was pointed in the lower center part, raised to the sides, and had paned sleeves, which showed the undershirt. Lace decoration was used for collars and the lower edge of the sleeves (the cuffs). The lower part consisted of breeches, which were loose and went down to the knee or under. Tight boots high up to the knee were worn, often turned down with lace. The attire was completed with a long sword. Long loose hair was the trend for men.






MARARO 2018 “The BAROQUE” Collection