Photo: Pudelek, Wikimedia Commons
Baroque architecture is a highly decorative and theatrical style which appeared in Italy in the early 17th century and gradually spread across Europe. Baroque architects took the basic elements of Renaissance architecture, including domes and colonnades, and made them higher, grander, more decorated, and more dramatic. The interior effects were often achieved with the use of quadratura, or trompe-l’œil painting combined with sculpture; the eye is drawn upward, giving the illusion that one is looking into the heavens. Clusters of sculpted angels and painted figures crowd the ceiling. Light was also used for dramatic effect; it streamed down from Cupolas, and was reflected from an abundance of gilding. Twisted columns were also often used, to give an illusion of upwards motion, and cartouches and other decorative elements occupied every available space. In Baroque palaces, grand stairways became a central element.
Examples of baroque architecture: Drottningholm (pictured), Stockholms slott, Mariedals slott, Skokloster, Läckö, Jordberga, Sturefors, Steninge, Mälsåker, Sjö slott, Ekolsund, Strömsholm, Ericsberg