(1) Mannerism and the Baroque: According to Wikipedia, “Mannerism, which may also be known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style largely replaced it.” Mannerism was taken from the Italian word maniera, which means “style”. The Baroque was, according to Wikipedia, “a style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture, poetry, and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1750s.” Spectacle, illusion, movement, and biblical genre painting are the four main characteristics of the Baroque.

(2) Peter the Great: According to Wikipedia, “Peter I, most commonly known as Peter the Great, was a Russian monarch who ruled the Tsardom of Russia from 7 May [O.S. 27 April] 1682 to 1721 and subsequently the Russian Empire until his death in 1725, jointly ruling with his elder half-brother, Ivan V until 1696.” When he was young, Peter traveled the world looking for ideas to take back to Russia to help improve it, and when he became “king”, he flipped the country on its back. He completely changed the rules. For example, all men wore beards and long hair, and when Peter took over, he made it illegal to wear a beard unless you pay a fine. A lot of other rules got changed like this one. According to Library of Congress, “His major achievements include the founding of St. Petersburg in 1703, the victory against Sweden at the Battle of Poltava in 1709, and the birth of the Russian navy, Peter’s lifelong passion.

(3) Frederick William: According to Wikipedia, “Frederick William was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from 1640 until his death in 1688. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is popularly known as “the Great Elector” because of his military and political achievements.” Along with other accomplishments, William completely freed the surfs, abolished hereditary leases, and settled several peasant colonists and worked to stabilize the circumstances of peasant subjects on state domains and noble estates.