The High Baroque refers to the high point of the epoch, which extends in time between about 1630-1650 and 1700-1720 and can be fundamentally divided into Baroque and Baroque-Classical currents. Even beyond that, High Baroque art varies greatly depending on the cultural context, especially since its function varies according to the context in which it was created: On the one hand, it serves the pathetic praise of rulers in absolutism or (in areas ruled by the Counter-Reformation) the glorification and glorification of the Catholic religion. On the other hand, it serves an emerging free art market, as in the "early bourgeois" northern Netherlands, where, moreover, Protestantism prevailed with its mistrust of religious imagery. Here, the newly blossoming profane genres - landscape, genre and still life - soon enriched the High Baroque art landscape.
Beyond political and religious boundaries, unifying aspects can also be noted, such as a preference for allegorising and symbolic imagery, which is also expressed in the widespread emblem literature. In addition, there is a clear, depending on the "classicist degree", subdued or accentuated agitation in painting and graphic art as well as in sculpture and architecture. Curvatures, curves and diagonal compositions dynamise the two- and three-dimensional representations, while fundamentally maintaining realism. Another essential feature of High Baroque art is the tendency towards the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) and the overcoming of genre boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture. Illusionist wall and ceiling painting reached a high point in this context, and in Italy in particular, double and multiple talents such as Bernini and da Cortona left their mark on High Baroque art.