The baroque period spanned the whole of Europe from 1600 to 1780. Beginning with Italian artists who brought drama to painting through dynamic compositions and pronounced contrasts between light and dark, the baroque was later exported by countless artists to their own countries, where the new style developed in different ways. With its monumental historical paintings and magnificent portraits, catering to sovereign desires for splendor and demonstrations of both secular and religious power, the baroque rose to become the style of European court art. The latest phase of the baroque, known as rococo, began in about 1720 and was characterized by an increased sense of playfulness and intimacy. With more than 450 works, Baroque 1600-1780 presents an overview of the most important paintings of the period.