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Baroque Architecture: Incorrectly Applied Essay

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Baroque Architecture: Incorrectly Applied
It can be argued that although unparalleled artistic works and architecture of grand opulence arose during the Baroque from the large financial investment that the Catholic Church contributed to this movement, the actual intention of baroque architecture directly contradicts the primary complaints presented by Martin Luther in his Ninety-Five Theses, and from its start, failed to support the church in its intended manner. It logically follows that to resolve the present conflict, which largely consisted of issues regarding indulgences and financial abuse; the church should have attempted to resolve the problem at hand. Baroque architecture, although grand and ostentatious, was architecture improperly applied as a tool to solve a social problem, and ultimately, encouraged the opposite of the intended effect.
Given the striking excess, it is easy to view the baroque era through a lens focused on individual actors; but however partially correct that this embodiment of power may be, it must also be recognized that other cultural factors influenced the widespread phenomenon. Through a broader lens, it becomes apparent that additional elements such as the dissemination of style, socio-political culture, learned methods of discourse in exercising power, and artistic ambition all contributed to the baroquization of Rome and Europe as a whole (Hengerer 10). However, seeing the controversies already faced by the Catholic church during this time, the focus can safely be narrowed by evaluating this in the context of the social failures of a specific church, how did Francesco Borromini’s Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, a masterpiece of opulent Roman Baroque architecture, fail to satisfy the social motives of...


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...a Spanish Imperial City." Cohen, Gary B. and Franz A.J. Szabo. Embodiments of Power: Building Baroque Cities in Europe. Berghahn Books, 2008.
Fisher, Thomas. Architectural Design and Ethics: Tools for Survival. Burlington: Elsevier Ltd., 2008.
Gilbert, Felix. The Pope, His Banker, and Venice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980.
Hanska, Jussi. "St. Yves de Treguier as a Preacher." Medieval Sermon Studies 2005.
Hengerer, Mark. "Embodiments of Power? Baroque Architecture in the Former Habsburg Residences of Graz and Innsbruck." Cohen, Gary B. and Franz A. J. Szabo. Embodiments of Power: Building Baroque Cities in Europe. Berghahn Books, 2008.
Poulsson, Vidar and Universitetet i Oslo. The Iconography of Francesco Borromini's Church S. Ivo Alla Sapienza in Rome, Suggested as a Case of High Baroque Papal Patronage and Spiritual Ideology. Thesis. Oslo, 1976.



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