“Excelsior” used in the modern context is defined as, “shavings used for packing breakable objects or upwards.” Applying this definition to the Baroque period applies the grand movement of a powerful style seen in the grand, massive and stately architecture, Ludwigsburg Palace, Stuttgart, Germany; the structure was built for protection and power. Its massive large colonnades, domes, and areas of openness and cover present a bold display of volume and space.
The Roman Catholic Church influenced paintings and sculptures through strong views of monarchy, handling of paint and composition, as well as space and motion. Emphasis was placed on bold colors, visible textures in cloth and skin in paintings. Typical Baroque art is seen in “Saint Theresa In Ecstasy” for the Cornaro Chapel that brings together sculpture, art and the image of theatre in one grand piece. Sculptures were given a more life-like dynamic appearance, which centered on motion of the body in different directions or reverses pose. Music projected the element of a love of ornate objects; thus many new musical ideas were conceived out of this period. Baroque expressed new values that were used in metaphors and allegory, which showed much emphasis in Baroque literature. The theatre produced elaborate plays with a multitude of dramatic plots (Shakespeare). Opera and the use of the bass line in music encompassed all the arts together into a unified whole. The philosophy of Baroque was bold, powerful, dynamic but also individual which exemplified “Gigantic Excelsior.”. World Literature: The Baroque Period as the Gigantic Excelsior.
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