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From Rome to St. Petersburg, Portugal to Brazil, the Baroque was the first art movement to span not only countries but distant continents. This stunningly illustrated book takes us on a breathtaking pilgrimage through its endless variations over some two hundred years, beginning in the early seventeenth century. Readers are treated to such wonders as Bernini's intensely powerful sculptures and his immense colonnade on St. Peter's Square, imposing palace facades, painted ceilings, crucifixes, angels, demons, piazzas, villas, gardens, and more. Though once viewed in Europe as decadent compared to Renaissance art, the Baroque is seen today as the ultimate manifestation of a style that expanded the bounds of reality and engendered a 'culture of visualization', prefiguring the modern age. Combining Ferrante Ferranti's magnificent color photographs, many never before published, with Giovanni Careri's absorbing prose account of the Baroque in chapters arranged by theme, "Baroques" marks the first time the topic has been treated so comprehensively, going well beyond Italy as far as colonial Latin America. The materials used in Baroque churches, palaces, gardens, and cities were meant to dazzle-but they did much more. Whether marble, stucco, or gilded bronze, each in its own way captures the fleeting interplay between the overt splendor of fireworks and the secret, conceptual complexity of allegory. The Baroque is an art of passions and ecstasies, but it is also a political art: it conveys an image of power charged with new energy, an image that inspired awe, fear, and respect. Above all, it is a total art: painting, sculpture, and architecture come together in Baroques as a whole that invites the reader into its transforming universe.