Baroque was born in Italy, and later adopted in France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain. The word "baroque" was first applied to the art of period from the late 1500s to the late 1700s, by critics in the late nineteen century. Baroque covers a wide range of styles and artists. In painting and sculpture we recognize three main forms of Baroque:
Baroque that was primarily associated with the religious tensions within Western Christianity: division on Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. In response to the Protestant Reformation of the early sixteen century, the Roman Catholic Church had embarked in the 1550s on a program of renewal known as the Counter - Reformation. As part of the program, the Catholic Church used art of the magnificent display for the campaign. It was intended to be both doctrinally correct and visually and emotionally appealing so that it could influence the largest possible audience. But as the century progressed the style made inroads into the Protestant countries. Main representatives of this form of Baroque were Bernini and Rubens.
Baroque that use revolutionary technique of dramatic, selective illumination of figures out of deep shadow - a hallmark of Baroque painting. Contrary to the traditional idealized interpretation of religious subjects, Baroque realistically presents models from the streets. Caravaggio is key painter of this form of Baroque.
Baroque that was developed mainly in Flemish countries emphasis realism of everyday life. It has been seen in works of Rembrandt and Vermeer.
In paintings, Baroque gestures are broader than Mannerist gestures: less ambiguous, less arcane and mysterious, more like the stage gestures of opera, a major Baroque art form. Baroque poses depend on contrapposto ("counterpoise"), the tension within the figures that moves the planes of shoulders and hips in counterdirections. It made the sculptures almost seem like they were about to move.
At the same time, scientific advances and exploration with the development of the press, forced Europeans to change the view of the world. New knowledge in astronomy was of great importance. In the eighteen century scientific literature became so plenteous, that the period has gotten the name - Age of Enlightenment. Economic growth in most European countries and Colonial America, both North and South, helped create a large, prosperous middle class ardent to invest in fine houses and even palaces. The art produced in the American colonies was closely related to that of Europe.
The new Baroque style is a dynamic art which reflects the growth of absolutist monarchies and is suitable to manifest power. It is also known as "the style of absolutism". Baroque is a style in which painters, sculptors, and architects rummaged emotion, movement, and variety in their works. Baroque favors higher volumes, exaggerates decorations, adds colossal sculptures, huge furniture etc. Sense of movement, energy, and tension are dominant impressions. Strong contrasts of light and shadow often enhance dramatic effects. In architecture, there was a special attention given to animation and grandeur achieved through scale, the dramatic use of light and shadow.