Colonial style – (from Latin colonus – column, ancient Roman settler, land tenant, resident of the province). Kolonat – attachment to the land of the settlers of the province – was formed in the Roman Empire in the III century.
However, this later Latin word began to be called the process of development of new lands by the inhabitants of the Eastern Mediterranean from the end of the 2nd millennium BC. e. The Phoenicians in the IX-VII centuries. BC. e. founded settlements in Cyprus, in North Africa – Carthage, in Sicily, on the coast of Spain – Hades.
The Greeks settled the islands of the Aegean Sea, the western coast of Asia Minor, southern Italy, the northern Black Sea coast. Ancient Greek philosopher Plato (427-347 BC) noted that “the Greeks settle around the seas, like frogs around swamps.” The settlements in Greek were called “apocchio” (Greek apoikii – “resettlement”), and the culture of the metropolis – autochthonous.
Of particular importance for the history of European art were the ancient settlements in Gaul, the Rhineland (from the word colonus comes the name of Cologne), Britain and the subsequent romanization of the “barbarian” peoples.
Other synonyms of the word “colonial” – “vernacular” (English, from Latin vernacular – local, native) and “rustic” (Latin rusticus – rural, rough) – have a slightly disdainful hue: simple, unpretentious, clumsy, artless and therefore sometimes refer generally to folk art, naive art, primitives. In the history of art, the term “colonial architecture” was used to refer to the result of the construction activity of the Franks on the lands of Byzantium after the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204.
The colonists created an original architecture, in general, repeating the West European Romance and Gothic, but in a simplified and coarsened form. Gothic lancet arch became a symbol of the Catholic Church in the East, but not more than a century.
Provincial Art of the English Colonies of America of the XVIII-XIX centuries. , especially architecture, interior decoration and furniture, is also not an original artistic style, but a mixture of simplified forms of English Gothic, Dutch Baroque, Victorian and Old English styles. This eclectic art was formed on the basis of the first settlers brought to America by the first colonists, and also in connection with the usual ideas, nostalgia for the comfort of a traditional English house.
Another example of the “colonial style” is the art of the Catholic countries of Latin America of the XVII-XIX centuries. – Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil. Introduced in these lands by Spanish and Portuguese conquerors and missionaries, the Baroque style with elements of Mauritanian art typical of Spain, Isabellino and Plateresque styles was gradually assimilated and, under the influence of local ethnic traditions, assumed fantastic forms. Massiveness, some rudeness of architecture and sculpture is combined in the Latin American “colonial style” with bright colors and richness of a dense crushed decor.
Spanish and Portuguese Baroque was transformed in Latin American countries into “ultra-baroque” – manneristic and decorative style, including European and local folklore elements in combination with archaic thinking, close to Romanesque and even pre-Roman, early Christian art. To the “colonial” is the “second Georgian style”, formed in North America in the 1700s-1770s. and “federal style” in the art of the United States of 1780-1850-ies.
The name “colonial style” is conditional, it is rather an epithet than a definition of the historical and artistic style, primarily because of secondary and eclecticism. Hence the ironic use of the word “colonial” as applied to the phenomena of provincial, philistine taste, amateur art, in which elements of different “historical styles” are mixed in a comic, crushed version (compare naive art; primitive, haymatkunst).