architecture, assumed an especially dynamic role in missionary apologetics. A number of countries participated in this Baroque experimentation, conceived to win over converts through the senses before doing so through discourse: thus in Bohemia (Kilian Ignac Diezenhofer with Saint Nicholas de Mala Strana in Prague), in Hungary (Prandtauer in Melk Abbey, 1709-11), and in Vienna (Fischer von Erlach with the church of Saint-Charles-Borromeo, 1715-23).

Originating in France, the Rococo influence grafted itself onto the Ital-ianate trunk to produce an art that was particularly voluble, optimistic, and luminous. In terms of monastic architecture, the finest examples were provided by Balthasar Neumann in Neresheim (1745-98) and Vierzehnheiligen (1745-72); by Dominikus Zimmermann in the Wies sanctuary (1745-50); by the Asams in Munich, Ratisbonne, and Freising; by Johann Mikael Fischer in Ottobeuren (1748-53); by Peter Thum in Saint-Gall in Switzerland; and indeed by the anonymous builder of Einsiedeln Abbey, also in Switzerland. Buildings by these architects privileged the curved line and juxtaposed the oval for the nave and the rectangle for the choir - as in the Wies church; they developed wide facades flanked by towers and preserved the use of generous bays from the hall church tradition to produce a profusion of light.

Forms of a similar kind, adapted to local contexts, spread to Dresden, the capital of Catholic Poland during the reign of Augustus the Strong (the court church); and to Russia, particularly Saint Petersburg, through Dominico Trezzini (the Peter and Paul Basilica, 1712-23) and Bartolomeo Rastrelli (the Smolny Convent); as well as to Rome, Naples, and Sicily. In their own particular manner, Spain and Portugal also adapted the Rococo, whether through the designs of foreign architects, such as Konrad Rudolf (Valencia), Jaime Bort (Murcia), or Johann Friedrich Ludwig; or of local masters like the Figueroas in Andalusia and the Churrigueras in Salamanca. In the following years, architecture that combined Baroque and Rococo with indigenous traits spread throughout Latin American regions (as in the Ocotlan sanctuary in Mexico, c. 1745; or the Congonhas church in Brazil).

France: the move towards neo-classic simplicity

With one or two exceptions, such as the reconstruction of the Gothic cathedral of Orleans or the great abbey of Ebersmunster in Alsace - influenced by the style of Alpine Europe - France refused to adapt the Rococo to her own

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