The word “Baroque” means an item that is extravagantly adorned. It is also derived from the Portugese word “barocco” meaning irregular pearl.
The Baroque period refers to an historical era when this extravagant approach was adopted by artists, musicians, writers and architects. The Baroque period began in Italy in around XVII century. It gradually spread across Europe and Latin America. Baroque architecture was prevalent in Latin America, particularly amongst the Spanish colonies, with many civic buildings and churches being built in the style. The buildings were often ornate with impressive features such as decorative columns and imposing staircases. There was also a Moorish influence and an emphasis on contrasting light and dark. The earliest example of this is a Jesuit shrine in Peru well-known for its golden altar.
Baroque music was especially popular in Latin America and still has a large following across the world today. Introduced by the Jesuit missionaries who acquired skills in Europe, they passed on their skills to the local people. As well as teaching them to play, the Jesuits also taught the locals to make instruments. Compared to Europe, Latin American Baroque music was less technical as the musicians although talented had less training and access to quality instruments.
Latin American painters working during the Baroque period tended to follow the European trends closely. Portraiture was popular with the wealthy, as in Europe at the time. Two important painters of the time were Cristóbal de Villalpando (1649 c.-1714) of Mexico and Miguel de Santiago (1620 c.- 1706) of Ecuador. Sculptors of the time, however, developed more individual styles. One particularly acclaimed sculptor of the time was the Brazilian Antonio Francisco Lisboa (1730-1814), commonly known as O Aleijadinho. He was best known for his painted wooden figures and his striking stone statues of the twelve prophets which stood outside the church of Bom Jesus in Congonhas do Campo.
Here some article in Italian.