This chapter deals with a world that is growing more and more complex. Europe is now firmly divided into religious camps that will never rejoin one another. Yet, the whole continent is under the sway of a style rooted in naturalism and that seeks drama. It is a chapter of contrasts as well as continuations. What some regard as the excessive decorativeness of Mannerism is replaced by a stout, bolder Baroque style, which gives way to another highly decorative impulse, the Rococo.
Goals for this chapter are as follows:
- Grasp the essential naturalism that is an ingredient in all Baroque styles.
- Distinguish between the particular characteristics of a number of national and regional styles.
- Understand the gradual development of the Rococo from the Baroque.
- Witness the first European artistic impulses on the North American continent.
- Become familiar with some of the great names in European art history, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, and Bernini.
- Appreciate how two of the world's most impressive architectural complexes take final shape -- St. Peter's in Rome, and the great palace of Louis XIV at Versailles--and how the influences of both spread beyond their own piece of real estate.