The roots of Brazilian sculpture have been traced back to the late 16th century, emerging soon after the first settlements in the newly discovered land. Through the following century, most of the sculpture in Brazil was brought from Portugal and displayed Baroque features. The Baroque style would flourish within the religious culture of the country and would remain predominant until the first decades of the 19th century. In the 19th century, sculptural activity decreased, but it later revived when both the government and the public took a new interest in the art. Modernism fomented a period of intense research into a new language of sculpture, with great achievements, and the contemporary sculpture of Brazil enjoys worldwide respect.