Baroque was the leading fashionable style in Europe for a hundred years from the mid 17th century. The period saw not only the establishment of great European empires ruled by absolute monarchs but also the growing power of the Roman Catholic Church. Baroque was their style.
It was opulent and impressive, dramatic and moving, but also very serious in its purpose. Baroque artists and designers worked in many media and art forms, from painting and sculpture to architecture, interior decoration, gardens and the ephemeral world of theatre and public events. Often they combined many different art forms to create 'total works of art'. These engaged the emotions of the viewer by appealing to all the senses.
Baroque was also the first style to have a significant global impact. Beginning in Italy and France, and spreading to the rest of Europe, it was carried around the world by the expanding European powers.
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