A style of art and architecture that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until ca. 1760. The Baroque style in architecture is characterized by exuberant ornamentation, contrast and surprise, while Baroque painting and sculpture emphasize drama and a sense of movement. The style came together at the start of the 17th century in Rome, then spread to France, Spain, Portugal, southern Germany, Austria and Poland. The Baroque style was actively encouraged by the Catholic Church as an alternative to austerity of Protestant art and architecture in Northern Europe. Video here.

Peter Paul Rubens. The Sacrifice of Isaac. Oil on wood panel. 1612-13. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo.