What are the principal characteristics of Baroque art?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Some people say that "less is more", but fans of the Baroque period, usually described as occurring roughly between the 1600's and 1800's, would be of the philosophy that "more is more".  The Baroque period was characterized by paintings that exuded boldness, drama, emotional tension, fluidity and movement, and often a sense of grandeur.  This period preceded the Rococo in European art, and the term "baroque" at one time even presented a negative connotation of sorts as it was sometimes used to mean overdone or florid.  Caravaggio's name is generally considered synonomous with the Italian movement, and although the Baroque style spread throughout Europe, it did so with various adaptations, toned down in some countries, dramatized even further in others, or, as in the case of Holland, barely making a wave.  Interestingly, the monarchy of France in the person of Louis XIV, latched on to the grandeur and over-the-top ornamentation of the Baroque style in everything from the artwork to the architecture to the gardens of Versailles themselves. 

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