The German eighteenth century in its outward appearance was strongly impregnated with foreign traits. The social factors of his style – church, courts, high aristocracy – by their very nature participated in the international culture of their time, and so the Baroque as the Rococo, due to the less close ties with religious life, played an essential role. to mirror the intellectual activity of the upper strata of society. The art had more social than individual tendencies, it was more intent on maintaining a certain level than reaching great heights, it lived in an environment of state activity and high society.
According to microedu, the architecture derived from the stylistic currents then dominant in Europe: from the Italian Baroque of Borromini and Juvara and from the classical style in which Holland and France predominated. The various national manifestations of the Baroque, as well as the various German regional schools, participate to varying degrees in these two tendencies, which are by no means antithetical. Factors decided for their manifestation were the geographical, political and religious conditions of the individual countries and their social structure. The state centralization of the countries of the House of Habsburg, stronger now than ever, divorced the Austrian Baroque from the sphere of German art, for which it was nevertheless a point of orientation, alongside Italian art and Franco-Dutch art. Numerous German regions possess a very remarkable local Baroque architecture: Franconia (main centers: Bayreuth, Würzburg, Bamberg, Banz, Vierzehnheiligen; artists: Johann Dientzenhofer, Maximilian Welsch, Joh. B. Neumann); the Rhineland (Mainz, Speyer, Bonn, Brühl) with Westphalia (main artist: Schlaun); Saxony (Dresden with MD Pöppelmann, Giorgio Bähr and Gaetano Chiaveri); Prussia (A. Schlüter, J. Br. Eosander, GW Knobelsdorff); Bavaria (Enrico Zucalli, the Asam brothers, J. Effner, F. Cuvillés, J. Maria Fischer). Characteristic traits of these schools are a grandiose and dynamic way of doing things, the search to group the architectural masses in various ways, an excess of decorative details, the subordination of the architect to the client who usually intervenes very widely. It seems that a gothic undercurrent also emerges in this period, giving rise to the lack of measure, the audacity and passion of the German Baroque, the abundance of pictorial effects, the joy of moving and agitated decoration. This tendency towards the irrational and the infinite, a tendency encouraged by a gradually resurgent national consciousness and which finds its most adequate expression in contemporary music (Bach), needed to rely strictly on the art of the Latin peoples to find the form and the structure it needed. Over time, the classical current took over, corresponding to the growing dominance of French culture in Europe, and, in Germany, to the replacement of the Prussian dominance for the Austrian one: the cubic values of the building, the decoration becomes more strongly subordinated to the general architectural lines, the architecture becomes calmer. This change, already noticeable around 1730, took place a generation later.
The visual arts during the Baroque were dominated by architecture. In painting the best productions are found above all in Southern Germany, in the ornamental fresco which, despite its obvious derivation from Italy, was able to preserve its originality. The main representatives are Hans George, Cosma-Damiano Asam, Joh. Georg Bergmüller, Joh. Zick for the older generation, M. Günther, C. Winck, Mat. Knoller, Jan. Zick and FA Maulpertsch (a Bavarian from Swabia who emigrated to Austria) for the most recent generation, which makes the transition from the Baroque to the Neoclassical and not only has a common interest in the new coloristic problems, but replaces the traditional formulas with the study from life. In the second half of the century, easel painting, already deeply decayed, flourishes again. If before a close dependence on Dutch and Italian models had only created miserable things (Scheits, Schultz, Stech, Querfurt, Roos), now above all the art of the portrait becomes more independent and original. JG Ziesenis, A. Graff, FA Tischbein are the best painters of this era, intent on changing, under the influence of literary and philosophical ideas, the aristocratic ideals into the bourgeois ones. The other genres of painting (CW Dietrich, J. Seekatz) remain in the shadow of the portrait. The engraving, of a purely decorative (JE Riediger, Germany Ph. Rugendas) or French character (GF Schmidt, JG Wille), only in D. Chodowiecki (v.) Found a master who was able to adequately express the living spirit of his time.
What has been said about painting also applies to a large extent to sculpture. Churches and tombs, palaces and parks required a great deal of decorative work. Italian and French art (which sent to Germany a whole series of artists, more skilled than brilliant) were not imitated as closely as in painting: and the Nordic spirit found more easily in the national forces the possibility of expressing its impetus. Main Baroque sculptors are A. Schluter, from Hamburg who lived in Berlin, and Baldassare Permoser, from Southern Germany; between the two stands N. Rauchmiller. For the transition period from the Baroque to the Neoclassical, the Vienna school, from GR Donner onwards, was important. Under his influence, Bavarian sculpture – which culminated with JB Straub and I. Günther – had very original accents. One of its secondary branches is given by the porcelain sculpture which had a wide development also elsewhere. The new material, suited to the predilection of the time for everything that was delicacy, clarity of forms and multiplicity of colors, produced a new flowering of ceramic art (manufactures of Meissen, of Höchst, of Fürstenberg, of Ludwigsburg, of Nymphenburg, of Berlin). Alongside it, goldsmithing (Dinglinger) and furniture manufacturing excel; Röntgen, Riesener and others dominated in the field of cabinet making even in Paris. of Höchst, of Fürstenberg, of Ludwigsburg, of Nymphenburg, of Berlin). Alongside it, goldsmithing (Dinglinger) and furniture manufacturing excel; Röntgen, Riesener and others dominated in the field of cabinet making even in Paris. of Höchst, of Fürstenberg, of Ludwigsburg, of Nymphenburg, of Berlin). Alongside it, goldsmithing (Dinglinger) and furniture manufacturing excel; Röntgen, Riesener and others dominated in the field of cabinet making even in Paris.