There was an explosion of knowledgeduring the 17th Century. In spite of political conflict, Europe grew into a socially stable community; travel, exploration and commerce gave rise to new possibilities. A cosmopolitan attitude developed bringing with it a sense of style and sophistication. Exploration for gold (for businessmen), God (for the Church), and glory (for soldiers and noblemen ) was pursued. Scientific experimentation extended well beyond earth in the theories of the new astronomy and physics of Galileo, Kepler and Newton in addition to the discoveries of microscopic spaces of the cellular. There was a near obsession with light as a physical entity capable of being refracted into color by a prism.
Baroque art challenged the imagination and encouraged active viewer participation.
St. Peter's Cathedral (facade), 1607-1657
St. Teresa of Avila in Ecstasy, 1645-1652
The Calling of St. Matthew, 1599-1602
The Entombment, 1600
The Conversion of St. Paul, 1600
The Crucifixion of St Peter, 1601
Self Portrait, 1630
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