This type of landscape painting, apparently void of religious or classical connotations, gave birth to a long line of northern European landscape artists, such as Jacob van Ruisdael. With the great development of the engraving and printmaking market in Antwerp in the 16th century, the public was provided with accessible and affordable images. Many artists provided drawings to book and print publishers, including Bruegel.
The Four Winds provided the public with almost a thousand etchings and engravings over two decades. Between and Bruegel supplied Cock with almost 40 drawings, which were engraved for the Flemish public. The courtly style of Northern Mannerism in the second half of the century has been seen as partly motivated by the desire of rulers in both the Holy Roman Empire and France to find a style of art that could appeal to members of the courtly elite on both sides of the religious divide.
During the Reformation a great divergence arose between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers of the north regarding the content and style of art work. The Catholic Church viewed Protestantism and Reformed iconoclasm as a threat to the church and in response came together at the Council of Trent to institute some of their own reforms.
The church felt that much religious art in Catholic countries especially Italy had lost its focus on religious subject-matter, and became too interested in material things and decorative qualities. The council came together periodically between and The reforms that resulted from this council are what set the basis for what is known as the Counter-Reformation.
Italian painting after the s, with the notable exception of the art of Venice , developed into Mannerism , a highly sophisticated style, striving for effect, that concerned many churchman as lacking appeal for the mass of the population.
Church pressure to restrain religious imagery affected art from the s and resulted in the decrees of the final session of the Council of Trent in including short and rather inexplicit passages concerning religious images, which were to have great impact on the development of Catholic art. Previous Catholic Church councils had rarely felt the need to pronounce on these matters, unlike Orthodox ones which have often ruled on specific types of images.
The very short passage dealing with art came only in the final session in , as a last minute and little-discussed addition, based on a French draft. The decree confirmed the traditional doctrine that images only represented the person depicted, and that veneration to them was paid to the person themself, not the image, and further instructed that:.
And that these things may be the more faithfully observed, the holy Synod ordains, that no one be allowed to place, or cause to be placed, any unusual image, in any place, or church, howsoever exempted, except that image have been approved of by the bishop The number of decorative treatments of religious subjects declined sharply, as did "unbecomingly or confusedly arranged" Mannerist pieces, as a number of books, notably by the Flemish theologian Molanus , Saint Charles Borromeo and Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti , and instructions by local bishops, amplified the decrees, often going into minute detail on what was acceptable.
Many traditional iconographies considered without adequate scriptural foundation were in effect prohibited, as was any inclusion of classical pagan elements in religious art, and almost all nudity, including that of the infant Jesus. While Calvinists largely removed public art from religion and Reformed societies moved towards more "secular" forms of art which might be said to glorify God through the portrayal of the "natural beauty of His creation and by depicting people who were created in His image",  Counter-Reformation Catholic church continued to encourage religious art, but insisted it was strictly religious in content, glorifying God and Catholic traditions, including the sacraments and the saints.
Sydney Joseph Freedberg , who invented the term Counter-Maniera , cautions against connecting this more austere style in religious painting, which spread from Rome from about , too directly with the decrees of Trent, as it pre-dates these by several years. He describes the decrees as "a codifying and official sanction of a temper that had come to be conspicuous in Roman culture". With the focus of the painting giving direct attention to the crucifixion of Christ, it complies with the religious content of the council and shows the story of the passion while keeping Christ in the image of the ideal human.
Ten years after the Council of Trent's decree Paolo Veronese was summoned by the Inquisition to explain why his Last Supper , a huge canvas for the refectory of a monastery, contained, in the words of the Inquisition: The pre-existing decline in " donor portraits " those who had paid for an altarpiece or other painting being placed within the painting was also accelerated; these become rare after the Council.
Further waves of "Counter-Reformation art" occurred when areas formerly Protestant were again brought under Catholic rule. The churches were normally empty of images, and such periods could represent a boom time for artists. The best known example is the new Spanish Netherlands essentially modern Belgium , which had been the centre of Protestantism in the Netherlands but became initially exclusively Catholic after the Spanish drove the Protestants to the north, where they established the United Provinces.
Rubens was one of a number of Flemish Baroque painters who received many commissions, and produced several of his best known works re-filling the empty churches. The rather extreme pronouncement by a synod in Antwerp in that in future the central panels of altarpieces should only show New Testament scenes was certainly ignored in the cases of many paintings by Rubens and other Flemish artists and in particular the Jesuits continued to commission altarpieces centred on their saints, but nonetheless New Testament subjects probably did increase.
Some subjects were given increased prominence to reflect Counter-Reformation emphases. The Repentance of Peter , showing the end of the episode of the Denial of Peter , was not often seen before the Counter-Reformation, when it became popular as an assertion of the sacrament of Confession against Protestant attacks. This followed an influential book by the Jesuit Cardinal Robert Bellarmine — The image typically shows Peter in tears, as a half-length portrait with no other figures, often with hands clasped as at right, and sometimes "the cock " in the background; it was often coupled with a repentant Mary Magdalen , another exemplar from Bellarmine's book.
As the Counter-Reformation grew stronger and the Catholic Church felt less threat from the Protestant Reformation, Rome once again began to assert its universality to other nations around the world. The religious order of the Jesuits or the Society of Jesus, sent missionaries to the Americas , parts of Africa , India and eastern Asia and used the arts as an effective means of articulating their message of the Catholic Church's dominance over the Christian faith.
The Jesuits' impact was so profound during their missions of the time that today very similar styles of art from the Counter-Reformation period in Catholic Churches are found all over the world. Despite the differences in approaches to religious art, stylistic developments passed about as quickly across religious divisions as within the two "blocs".
Artistically Rome remained in closer touch with the Netherlands than with Spain. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Redirected from The Reformation and art. Lutheran Churches in Early Modern Europe. As it developed in north-eastern Germany, Lutheran worship became a complex ritual choreography set in a richly furnished church interior. This much is evident from the background of an epitaph pained in by Martin Schulz, destined for the Nikolaikirche in Berlin see Figure 5. Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Lutherans continued to worship in pre-Reformation churches, generally with few alterations to the interior.
It has even been suggested that in Germany to this day one finds more ancient Marian altarpieces in Lutheran than in Catholic churches.
Thus in Germany and in Scandinavia many pieces of medieval art and architecture survived. Joseph Leo Koerner has noted that Lutherans, seeing themselves in the tradition of the ancient, apostolic church, sought to defend as well as reform the use of images. In fact, in the 16th century some of the strongest opposition to destruction of images came not from Catholics but from Lutherans against Calvinists: Works of art continued to be displayed in Lutheran churches, often including an imposing large crucifix in the sanctuary, a clear reference to Luther's theologia crucis.
In contrast, Reformed Calvinist churches are strikingly different. Usually unadorned and somehwat lacking in aesthetic appeal, pictures, sculptures, and ornate altar-pieces are largely absent; there are few or no candles; and crucifixes or crosses are also mostly absent. Historicist and Causes of the Reformation. Historical Dictionary of Calvinism. While Germany and the Scandinavian countries adopted the Lutheran model of church and state, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hungary, what is now the Czech Republic, and Scotland created Reformed Churches based, in varying ways, on the model Calvin set up in Geneva.
Although England pursued the Reformation ideal in its own way, leading to the formation of the Anglican Communion, the theology of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England were heavily influenced by Calvinism. Holbein and the Reformation of Art. University of California, Berkeley. Medieval Art and Architecture after the Middle Ages.
In fact, Lutherans often justified their continued use of medieval crucifixes with the same arguments employed since the Middle Ages, as is evident from the example of the altar of the Holy Cross in the Cistercian church of Doberan. Scott 9 March According to Koerner, who dwells on Lutheran art, the Reformation renewed rather than removed the religious image. Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Concise History of Western Art.
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