"The style is dry and the meaning sometime obscure. Only occasional--as with the bravura frescoes of Franz Anton Maulbertsch--does the author allow a glimpse of his personal passion. Yet it is a deeply felt work. Kaufmann mourns the openness and diversity that was lost with the demise of the Polish Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire. The universal message of cosmopolitanism and enlightenment voiced by the old regime, and the splendidly varied art and architecture it produced should, he believes, give us hope today against the shrill claims of unenlightened self-confinement and xenophobic chauvinism."Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta is the author of 'Court, Cloister and City The Art & Culture of Central Europe, 1450-1800' with ISBN 9780226427300 and ISBN 0226427307.