Category Archives: Baroque

Posted on 12 October, 2016

baroque-maureen-caelli-italianate-palazzo-dollshouse

Maureen Caelli’s Baroque Italianate Palazzo Dolls House

Baroque Exteriors

Baroque architects thought of a building as a kind of giant sculpture, a single mass to be shaped according to their requirements. The idea of movement was also an important element, achieved by the use curves and counter-curves, which became a dominant motif. Facades utilized columns, pilasters, cornices, or pediments, all of which must appear as a cohesive whole, obeying the strict laws of symmetry.

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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: Baroque, exteriors


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Posted on 02 October, 2016

baroque-furniture-marquetry-coffer

Coffer with fruitwood, oak, Elmwood and Ebony found on Galerie Gabrielle Laroche

French Baroque Furniture

Two styles of Baroque vie for dominance – Italian and French. In furniture, I vote for the French. The long reign of King Louis XIV (171-1774) marked the beginning of a series of distinct period furniture styles, the first being Baroque. Some of the most beautiful and refined furniture ever made, displaying the highest level of artistic and technical ability, was created in Paris during the eighteenth century.

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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: Baroque


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Posted on 23 September, 2016

baroque-interiors-music-room-thierry-bosquet

Music Room of Thierry Bousquet found on LoveIsSpeed

Baroque Interiors

Baroque architects took cues from theater design. The use of stage sets and backdrops gave the illusion of infinite space. Just as in a theater, a proscenium, an archway between the stage and the crowd, was used to delineate space. The concept of theatrical lighting – shafts of focused light (spots lighting) to create shadows in the ambient light, all played roles in how to address space. There was a return to Gothic some elements – windows and elaborate vaulting.

The color palette was rich with dark reds and greens. Gold was used to enhance accent features and to decorate the frames of mirrors and paintings.

Baroque interiors are highly detailed, including intricately carved wood paired with luxurious textiles covering furniture and walls, and for window coverings. These fabrics are often damask, with or without floral patterns.

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Italianate Palazzo Drawing Room found on Dolls’ Houses Past & Present

The ceilings were decorated with images of putti (little boys) while plant motifs could be seen in wall decorations.

Baroque style is also distinguished by bold contrasting colors as opposed to gold and pastels that are more prevalent in rococo.

The interiors featured various complex architectural details along with religious frescos and depictions and precision are also essential characteristics of Baroque.

As befitting church doctrine, the rules of symmetry were critical. This was exemplified in scrollwork, where the letters S and C were favorite subjects. When facing each other, the C-shaped scrolls of the Baroque would line up precisely. In rococo, those scrolls would be askew, breaking the rules, and offering a feeling of whimsicality. Other favorite scrollwork objects were foliage, with and without fruit.

baroque-interiors-salon-thierry-bosquet

Salon of Thierry Bousquet found on LoveIsSpeed

Design Elements

Foliage motifs – A profusion of plant life characterizes the Baroque style.

Initials and monograms as well as crests

Scrolling foliage and garlands of flowers decorate many objects.

Marquetry – Marquetry is the laying of veneers of different-colored woods onto the surface of furniture. This novel form of decoration was learned from French and Dutch cabinet-makers.

Putti – The Italian word ‘putti’ meaning ‘boys’ is the name given to the chubby infants seen on many Baroque objects.

Crests and initials – The decorative use of monograms, usually people’s initials, was a particular feature of the Baroque style. Heraldic crests were also incorporated into designs as symbols of status and ownership.

Lambrequin motif – baroque interiors were enriched with luxurious textiles. The distinctive features of these fabrics were

ken-haseltine-baroque-music-room

Ken Haseltine’s Baroque music room found on his Flickr photostream.

transformed into motifs to be used in other media. The lambrequin, or tasseled cloth motif, is one of the most common.

Floors are typically made from high-end materials such as solid wood or marble. Large room-sized, hand-woven rugs are placed to soften spaces

Furniture is intricately detailed to accent embellishments with curved legs, carved details, and gildingGold frames and gilding on statues and pottery are commonLarge mirrors, crystal chandeliers, door knobs, and pulls are commonly used

Luxury fabrics in damask and floral prints are used for upholstery, wall coverings, and floor-to-ceiling window coverings.

The Baroque style lasted until about 1726 when the asymmetrical Rococo style began to evolve. You may be interested in my article on Baroque Furniture.

 

Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens

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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: Baroque


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Posted on 26 January, 2016

mulvany-rogers-satisfied-customer-hugging-dollhouse

An ecstatic Mulvaney & Rogers customer taking possession of her commissioned dollhouse.

Mulvany & Rogers

This is one of my favorite images, an ecstatic customer taking possession of her commissioned dollhouse. Mulvany & Rogers have lots of satisfied customers, but getting such photographic proof is a rare thing.

Susan Rogers and Kevin Mulvany are amazing artisans. They have been commissioned to create such 1:12 scale marvels as the Brighton Pavilion, Spencer House and Buckingham Palace. One thing I treasure the most is a BBC interview featuring their Parisienne 17th-century “hotel particulere,”  now a very classy apartment above an haute couture shop. When the commercial side of my 1:12 scale life – making accessories and getting them shipped on time – begins to dull the magic of the miniature world, watching two minutes of lovely images and a calming soundtrack remind me what is truly possible with the dollhouse miniature craft I love.

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Posted by Susan Downing


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