Baroque and Ukrainian Baroque


Baroque – style of European art and architecture. At various times, the term “baroque” had different meanings. The term “Baroque” was initially used in a derogatory sense, to underline the excesses of its emphasis ( it derives from the Portuguese word “barroco” which refer to a “rough or imperfect pearl”). Today the term is used in works of art to determine the style that prevailed in European art between Mannerism and Rococo, that is, about the beginning of the XVII to the beginning of the XVIII century. From Mannerism Baroque art inherited a dynamic and profound emotion, and from the Renaissance – solidity and splendor: the features of both styles harmoniously merged into one single entity.

In Ukraine, the Baroque declares itself in a powerful chord of the golden domes of Kyiv; counterpoint of monasteries’ panoramas in Chernihiv, Novgorod-Seversky, Poltava; expressive plasticity of Lviv sculpture; powerful decorative potential of Ukrainian engravings; high metaphysical poetry; perturbed and grandiloquent pathos of polemicists; diversity polyphonic study material in music; symbolic and allegorical literature of Kyiv-Mohyla students; dramatic and adventurous painting.


However, the Baroque culture was not ideologically identical. It acquired various, sometimes diametrically opposite forms in different regions. In Catholic countries of Western Europe (Italy, France, Spain, Portugal) it relates to the Counter-Reformation, the “second wave” of scholasticism, a court, an aristocratic art, with its tendency to mannerism and euphuistic symbolism. The most characteristic features of Baroque – showy flamboyance and dynamic are consistent with self-confidence and aplomb of Roman Catholic Church.

In Protestant countries, and the Slavic world baroque along with so-called “high style” reveals some democratic tendencies, historically leans on the Lutheran community and the Orthodox brotherhoods, feeds the spirit of patriotic national movements and enters the era of cultural desecration.