Every conceivable expression of this epoch, from Roman baroque to Dutch painting and naturally the unfolding splendour of Louis XIV is gathered in this volume.
This work includes: chronological depiction of the fine arts from their origins in Rome through the late baroque and rococo; explanation of the socio-political background: the Counter-Reformation, the development of Protestantism, absolutism, and the French Revolution; and various ways the baroque left its mark, including city planning, architecture, garden design, sculpture, painting and emblems.
During the baroque period, architecture and the other fine arts were the instruments of a staging of "world theatre" on a grand scale. The baroque art of the popes in Rome, the displays of power and opulence in the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, and Dutch painting - they all reflect different aspects of the underlying tension between pleasure in life and fear of death that was such a prominent feature of the baroque world view. This volume portrays the entire span of the fine arts of the baroque era, from rich splendour to religious asceticism.