Woelfflin, Principles of Art History
One way of trying to understand and appreciate works of art is by means of formal analysis, that is by looking at them not in terms of subject matter or technique, but in terms of purely formal concepts. The great value of Wölfflin’s work is that he provides us with relatively objective and impartial categories, constituting a system within which we can articulate some of our observations regarding Baroque art – which may otherwise remain very general and imprecise. It is important to remember, though, that the pairs of categories he proposes are comparative, not absolute. The division into categories is only for the purposes of analysis.