Diego Velázquez 046 - The Yorck Project Masterpieces of Painting
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By the last decades of the 16th century, the refined Mannerism style had ceased to be an effective means of religious art expression. Catholic Church fought against Protestant Reformation to re-establish its dominance in European art by infusing Renaissance aesthetics enhanced by a new exuberant extravagance and penchant for the ornate. The new style was coined Baroque and roughly coincides with the 17th century. Baroque emphasizes dramatic motion, clear, easily interpreted grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, dynamism, movement, tension, emotional exuberance, and details, and often defined as being bizarre, or uneven. The term Baroque likely derived from the Italian word barocco, used by earlier scholars to name an obstacle in schematic logic to denote a contorted idea or involuted process of thought. Another possible source is the Portuguese word barroco (Spanish barrueco), used to describe an irregular or imperfectly shaped pearl, and this usage still survives in the jeweler’s term baroque pearl. Baroque spread across Europe led by the Pope in Rome and powerful religious orders as well as Catholic monarchs to Northern Italy, France, Spain, Flanders, Portugal, Austria, southern Germany, and colonial South America.