"Modesty is the beginning of all reason", Austrian dramatist Ludwig Anzengruber - a representative of realism and author of many folk plays - wrote in the late 19th century.
However, during the Baroque era, modesty was not exactly the order of the day. Quite the opposite! At least for those who could afford it... And as we all know, this didn't apply to the common people but to the upper echelons: the aristocracy and royal dynasties.
Baroque - it represents glamour and splendour, dazzling pomp as far as the eye could see. The kings and sovereigns of that epoch certainly wanted for nothing. Neither for splendid furnishings or elaborate robes, nor for extravagant hairdos or exotic culinary specialities. There was an abundance of everything they could possibly wish for, and of course this inspired a desire to show off all that wealth - especially in all areas of artistic creation: in architecture, sculpture, paintings, but also the intricate wall coverings which adorned the luxurious interiors of stately homes. There was a general air of trying to outdo each other.
The Palace of Versailles, the main residence of many French rulers, served as the principle example and archetype for the Baroque way of life. Its last residents, Louis XVI and his Austrian wife Marie Antoinette, enjoyed their decadent lifestyle to the full - until their demise during the French Revolution.
Baroque wallpapers are predominantly characterised by their attention to detail: intricate flowers, leaves, bows and delicate pattern repeats. They provide a beautiful backdrop to Sofia Coppola's movie "Marie Antoinette", in which Kirsten Dunst slips into the role (and the robes) of the extravagant queen.
And yet the term "barocco", borrowed from the Portuguese, was originally meant to be deprecatory. But through the changing times, the meaning of words and things change, too. Today, a touch of the baroque is easily affordable and adds a hint of Versailles to your home. And in all modesty, a bit of glamour can never do any harm. Against all reason.