Bernini, St. Teresa in Ecstasy (detail), 1652 (Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome). Absolute monarchs, cultured aristocrats and the Catholic Church needed good propaganda to combat the dual threats of Protestantism and democracy. They found it in Baroque: large canvases, bright colors, lots of flesh, rippling motion and grand themes, all meant to play on emotions, titillate the senses and carry us away. In this statue of Teresa, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) — the father of Baroque — shows the saint, who has just been stabbed with God's arrow of fire. Teresa talked of the "sweetness" of "this intense pain," describing her oneness with God in ecstatic, even erotic, terms — which Bernini's sculpture aptly shows.