Baroque Revival Architecture ........ .....William and Mary Baroque style furniture..................... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Furniture - Baroque / Baroque Revival

Table of Contents:

Baroque - 1600-1750


Definition: a European style of architecture and decoration which developed in the 17th cent. in Italy from late Renaissance and Mannerist forms, and culminated in the churches, monasteries, and palaces of southern Germany and Austria in the early 18th cent.

Relevant 17th century historical events:

Etymology: "Baroque" means "curious, odd, or strange" in French. The Portuguese "barroco" means "a large irregular pearl." The term "Baroque" was initially used with a derogatory meaning, to underline the excesses of its emphasis, of its eccentric redundancy, its noisy abundance of details, as opposed to the clearer and sober rationality of the Renaissance.




Chairs: replaced stools and benches, lighter, more comfortable than 16th century chairs; turning used on legs and stretchers


Mirrors: Mirrors began to appear in the this century


Baroque - France

French: Baroque VS Regency VS Rococo


  • 17th century
  • France: Louis XIV
  • More masculine
  • Symmetrical
  • Imposing ornamental decoration
  • Ornamentation: Masks, putti, grotesques, caryatids, acanthus leaves sculpted in the round
  • Tables and chairs: stocky supports and stretchers of monumental proportions; legs either columnar, spiraled or carved with animal-shapes


  • 1715-1722
  • France: Philippe d'Orleans
  • Tables and chairs: Stretchers joining the supports


  • 18th century
  • France: Louis XV
  • More feminine
  • Asymmetrical
  • Less imposing ornamental decoration
  • Ornamentation: Flowers, rosebuds, garlands, scallop-shell in less pronounced relief
  • Tables and chairs: slim and graceful S-shaped cabriole legs, just strong enough to support the light and dainty furniture; stretchers discarded

Baroque - England

Because of civil unrest throughout much of the 17th century, new furniture styles (i.e., Baroque) were met with resistance. The end-of-the-century William and Mary era clearly features Baroque style.

Relevant dates in 17th Century English history:

1603 - Queen Elizabeth dies; James I crowned

1625 - Charles I crowned

1642 - Civil war between Royalists (Cavaliers) and Parliamentarians (Roundheads)

1649 - Charles I executed

1653 - Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England

1658 - Cromwell dies

1660 - Charles II restored to the throne and Scotland

1677 - William III of the Netherlands marries Mary, heir to the English throne

1685 - James II ascends throne

1689 - 1689-1694 - Dutch monarchs William III and Mary II rule England

1702 - Anne becomes Queen of England and Scotland

Baroque - America

See Pilgrim style and William and Mary style.

Baroque Revival 1885-1914

Nineteenth century revival of European Baroque style

Widely adopted in Great Britain and the British Empire from about 1885 until World War I, particularly for government, municipal and commercial buildings.

In France, Baroque Revival is known as Second Empire, a style imported to the U.S, including Buffalo.

Examples from Buffalo architecture:

Other examples:

Photos and their arrangement © 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| ..