Baroque art came after the Mannerist movement. The actual meaning of baroque is "bizarre" or "irregular". The eighteenth century writer Francesco Milizia defined baroque as "the ultimate in the bizarre, the ridiculous carried to extremes."
Starting in the year 1887, Germany defined it as the period after the Renaissance. The term has two definitions. One definition is aesthetic. The second definition is either an art history's period or its length. Aesthetically, Baroque art was the antithesis of Classicism and was born as a rebellion against the theories propounded by the Classicists. The Baroque period started at the beginning of the seventeenth century and lasted until the middle of the eighteenth century. It started in Rome at the end of the sixteenth century. Some called it the Counter Reformation. According to this theory, the Jesuits started the Baroque movement. The Popes used the movement predominately to build various churches and cathedrals. Characteristics of the churches included the single nave, chapels on the sides of the churches, domed transepts and facades. These featured decorations and ornaments over openings angled more acutely at the apex than those in Classical structures.
Three men started the movement: Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the sculptor; Francesco Borromini, the architect; and Pietro da Cortona, the painter. They used their representative fields to evoke emotions within the spectators. Other painters who thrived during the Baroque period included Lanfranco, Pozzo, Sacchi, Maratta, Algardi, Poussin, LeBrun, Rubens and Rembrandt. Some of the artists showed a high degree of religious intensity and fervor in their works. Others showed more restraint in the feelings they conveyed. Baroque artists combined illusionism, color and light in their works. In different parts of Europe and within different types of art, Baroque had several elements and various artists who influenced other artists to follow their example. The Baroque period painters fell into three categories: Classicism, Realism and Baroque. Caravaggio in Rome typified the Realists; Annibale Carracci's ceiling decorations in the Galleria of the Palazzo Farnese exemplified the Classical current; and Pietro da Cortona ceiling in the Palazzo Barbeini was typically Baroque in nature. In other cities in Italy and Europe, there were artists who were on the forefront of design. Jusepe de Ribera in Naples painted in Caravaggio's style.
Spain influenced Southern Italy's architecture. The masterful palaces in Genoa influenced Ruebens. In Turin, Guarino Guarini was an inventive and creative architect. Filippo Juvarra's designs of theaters are masterpieces of Italy's Baroque era. Ornamental decoration was more important to the Spanish Baroque artists than architecture or painting. Pedro Berruguete, a student of Michelangelo, did the best examples of Baroque polychrome sculpture. Jacob Jordaens was one of the more formidable proponents of the Baroque in northern Europe. Andrea Palladio was the leader of the Baroque movement in Britain. The architect Francois Mansart designed the church most resembling Roman Baroque in France, even though Mansart never went to Italy. Charles LeBrun, the student of Poussin in France, led the Baroque painters. He completed his decoration of the Galerie d'Apollon in the Louvre in 1663. Germany was the last European country influenced by the Baroque period. Balthasar Permoser, a German artist, designed the elegantly Baroque "Apotheosis of Prince Eugene of Savoy" during the years 1718 and 1721. It is now in Vienna at the Osterreichisches Barockmuseum).