This course examines the key monuments of Baroque art and architecture and the social and political context in which they were produced. The course begins in the 1560s, a decade that saw the death of Michelangelo, the end of the Council of Trent, and the publication of the second edition of Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists. Examining Mannerism and its critics in the Catholic Reformation sets the ground for the 17th century reform of art spurred on by Caravaggio and the Carracci. Their legacy—and the themes of violence and wonder—will be traced through the work of the Caravaggisti and the illusionistic Baroque ceiling painters. The importance of Rome as a locus of Baroque art will be a central focus, but the course also considers the distinctive political, religious, and cultural life of Flanders, the Dutch Republic, Spain, and France.