During the 17th and 18th centuries, Europe's world of art and architecture evolved to a more "theatrical tendency" and became "overly ornate." This period is well-known as the Baroque period. The word "baroque" comes from the word "borroco," which means "irregularly shaped pearl." The term has a negative connotation and often this period is criticized by historians who felt the artworks were too elaborate. Despite its criticisms, many famous artists emerged from this period; examples are Diego Velazquez and Peter Paul Rubens. A couple of artworks that portray the styles and distinct features of the Baroque period is seen in Las Meninas by Velazquez and Allegory of Outbreak of War by Rubens. .
In both paintings, light and dark play a significant role. The first painting, Los Meninas, which is also known as "The Maids of Honor,"" is painted by Diego Velasquez during the Spanish Baroque Period. Velazquez is considered the "key artist- of this period due to his mastery of form and content, for example his mastery of "optical realism,"" which is the portrayal of the effects of light hitting an object, an obvious evidence in Las Meninas. He also uses "tenebrism,"" in which the painting is in a dark manner, predominantly black or dark. In the second painting, the Allegory of the Outbreak of War by Peter Paul Rubens from the Flemish Baroque period, light and dark also play a key role. This painting's main figure is Mars, the Roman god of war, who leaves the temple of Janus open, which is only left closed during a time of peace, and threatens people with a blood-stained sword. I notice in the painting that the left side is lighter colored, where as the right side is darker, showing the separation of good and evil. .
Another similarity between the two paintings is the realism. Many people consider Las Meninas the "Greatest Painting of Western Art- because of the amount of detail in the painting "like the wrinkles of the fabric of the dress down to the fur of the dog "and the paradox behind it all.