Fancy, lavish, excessive, extravagant, devilish…
These are just a few words that Merriam-Webster offers as synonyms to the word baroque.
On its most basically level, to call a pearl a baroque pearl is to say it is irregularly shaped. Easy as that. I go so-far as to call it the umbrella term for a variety of asymmetrically shaped pearls. On a deeper level, a baroque pearl is more. I know many of you have been taken by the over the top style of The Pearl Girls huge baroque necklaces and amazing earrings, too. These pearls become complicated, expressive, lavish and bold. They are who we are. With all our intricacies, contradictions, bold facades and complicated insides.
Here is more from Merriam-Webster, “Baroque came to English from the French word barroque, meaning "irregularly shaped." At first, the word in French was used mostly to refer to pearls.” How cool is that, the French used the word, from the beginning, to describe irregularly shaped pearls.
Then, in the 17th century, a style was born.
The dictionary continues, “Eventually, it came to describe an extravagant style of art characterized by curving lines, gilt, and gold. This type of art, which was prevalent especially in the 17th century, was sometimes considered to be excessively decorated and overly complicated. It makes sense, therefore, that the meaning of the word baroque has broadened to include anything that seems excessively ornate or elaborate.”
Complicated and decorated… interesting words to describe the following baroque structures:
Baroque sought to connect exterior architecture to the interior and back again to the landscape. Baroque is lavish, yes, yet it seeks unity. Columns, domes, murals, gardens and garden paths, flowers, fountains and pools. A grand salon that opens into grand gardens, this is baroque. Architecture extended.
So, when we reflect back to the word, especially when we use it to describe pearls, it feels grander than “just” an irregularly shaped pearl. It feels like more of an expression of who we are. I hope you will enjoy today’s launch of the Three Muses, a bracelet that is expressive, bold and baroque.