Sicilian Baroque is the distinctive form of Baroques which evolved on the island of Sicily in the 17th and 18th centuries. The style is recognisable not only by its typical BaroQ curves and flourishes, but also by its grinning masks and putti. The Sicilian style came to fruition during a major surge of rebuilding following the massive earthquake in 1693.
About Sicilian Baroque in brief
Sicilian Baroque is the distinctive form of Baroques which evolved on the island of Sicily in the 17th and 18th centuries. The style is recognisable not only by its typical BaroQ curves and flourishes, but also by its grinning masks and putti. It has given Sicily a unique architectural identity. The Sicilian style came to fruition during a major surge of rebuilding following the massive earthquake in 1693. After the earthquake, local architects, many of them trained in Rome, were given plentiful opportunities to recreate the more sophisticated BaroQue architecture that had become popular in mainland Italy. From the 1780s onwards, the style was gradually replaced by the newly fashionable neoclassicism. The highly decorative SicilianBaroque period lasted barely fifty years. It perfectly reflected the social order of the island at a time when, nominally ruled by Spain, it was in fact governed by a wealthy and often extravagant aristocracy into whose hands ownership of the primarily agricultural economy was highly concentrated. Sicilians have been exposed to a rich sequence of disparate cultures, which is reflected in the extraordinary diversity of architecture on the Island. Whatever the reason that the style never became popular in Sicily, certainly it was certainly popular in the High Renaissance, when it was already 20 years old. A form of decorated classical architecture peculiar to Sicily had begun to evolve from the 1530s. This often incorporated Greek architectural motifs such as the Greek pattern into late Gothic features such as pointed arches and window apertures.
Sicilian Norman architecture incorporated some Byzantine elements elsewhere, and other Romanesque architecture went on to incorporate Gothic features. The key to the Sicilian architecture is the Fontana Pretoria, a water fountain originally made for Don Pietro di Tolro di Pietro, a church in Palermo. It is the only remnant of the Italian High Renaissance that is still in use today, in the city of Palerino, a city on the southern coast of Italy. It was built in the 16th century and is still used as a tourist attraction. The island was colonised by the Greeks, and then ruled by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ostrogoths, the Muslims, the Normans, the Hohenstaufen, the Angevins, and the Aragonese. It then became a province of the Spanish Empire and later was part of the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, before finally being absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. It now has an architectural character that has lasted into the 21st century, and is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. It also has a unique freedom of design that is more difficult to characterise in words: it typically includes at least two or three of the following features: broken pediments over windows, curved topped windows and doors and flights of external stairs. The earliest examples of this style in Sicily lacked individuality and were typically heavy-handed pastiches of buildings seen by Sicilian visitors to Rome, Florence and Naples.