The Baroque is often thought of as a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music. The style began around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Catholic Church, which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation, that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement. The aristocracy also saw the dramatic style of Baroque architecture and art as a means of impressing visitors and expressing triumph, power and control. Baroque palaces are built around an entrance of courts, grand staircases and reception rooms of sequentially increasing opulence. The Palace of Versailles and St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican are the outstanding buildings from this epoch. There are undreamed-of jewels in Europe and America, the New World, waiting for discovery. Magnificent libraries, vaults of science or mysterious gardens, skilled works of porcelain and illusionistic painting, to name just a few aspects of this complex epoch. With his passion and meticulousness, photographer Achim Bednorz succeeded to get details in front of his camera that cannot even be seen on the original. The photographs that are exclusive for this volume are particularly well-presented in their large format.