Baroque art was the dominant art style of the seventeenth century. It was tightly associated with the Catholic Church and its desire to reassert itself at the time of the Protestant Reformation by using dynamic and bold art work to communicate religious themes. Baroque art work often depicted a dramatic scene with very clear realism so that it could be easily interpreted and viewers could feel emotionally involved within the image. The style originally emerged in Rome and spread throughout Europe within many forms including sculpture, painting, literature, theatre and music.

The 'Crowning with Thorns' by Carravaggio is an example of early Italian Baroque.