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Art and Culture - Module 10 - Reformation and Counter-Reformation

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Tenth module for GNED 1201 (Aesthetic Experience and Ideas). This one mainly covers the Reformation and Counter-Reformation of the 16th and early 17th Century. It also covers aesthetic responses to the Reformation, especially Caravaggio and Bernini.

This course is a required general education course for all first-year students at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. My version of the course is structured as a kind of Art History and Culture course. Some of the content overlaps with my other Gen Ed course.

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Art and Culture - Module 10 - Reformation and Counter-Reformation

  2. 2. Woodcuts illustrating the sale of indulgences (paying to reduce time spent in purgatory).
  3. 3. The Church believed that one could reduce one’s time in Purgatory by performing good deeds while alive in this world. But what is a good deed? How about working/helping the poor? What about giving money to the Church and telling it to use it to help the poor? What about just giving money to the Church (they know how to best use it, after all, they are God’s representatives on earth)?
  4. 4. “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church … Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” Matthew 16: 18-19. Inscribed in the great dome of St. Peter’s in Rome
  5. 5. “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church … Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” Matthew 16: 18-19. St. Peter receiving the keys. Later Catholic tradition claimed Peter journeyed to Rome and became the first bishop of Rome (i.e., the first Pope).
  6. 6. Dominican Friar Tetzel was the best known of the indulgence sellers. The Friar's most famous jingle was: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul from Purgatory upward springs."
  7. 7. Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) While the Church and its popes were deeply enmeshed in political machinations, a movement for reform of the Church began to build during this same time (1490s-1520s). These reformers wanted a less worldly, more spiritual church, as well as a church focused on the needs of their parishioners (i.e., vernacular translations of Bible and more charity/less building of magnificent buildings/art).
  8. 8. Criticizing the Church was a dangerous profession. Indeed the Church usually attacked any criticisms as heresy, an punished heresy with painful death. However the Church relied on secular power for the prosecution of heresy. But what would happen if secular power decided not to prosecute the Church’s enemies, and indeed decided to support those enemies/critics?
  9. 9. Paintings of Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  10. 10. Luther was born in Germany, went into Law as a young man, and then after an intense spiritual crisis, moved into an Augustinian monastery. He was obsessed with his soul’s salvation and through his careful reading of Augustine and the Book of Romans in the Bible, became convinced that salvation is only achievable through God’s grace. That is, human works/actions play no role in salvation. Thus, for Luther, the practice of indulgences was highly wrong. First, it indicated a church focused obsessively on worldly concerns (money and power). Second, it indicated that salvation could be purchased (i.e., God responded to money or was “forced” to let people into heaven due to their Lucas Cranach (the Elder), Martin Luther, 1526, aged 46 deeds).
  11. 11. In 1517, Luther (aged 34) posted 95 religious statements (Theses) on the door of the Church at Wittenberg. Key points: 1.Scripture should be made available to all (i.e., in vernacular) 2.No need for hierarchical cadre of scriptural professionals (there could be a priesthood of all believers) 3.Any religious dogma without scriptural evidence should be rejected (e.g., priests, popes, purgatory, saints, virgin mary, writings of the early church fathers, monasteries) 4.Salvation comes from god’s grace, not through human works 5.Secular power is what guarantees peace on earth (not the church)
  12. 12. Unlike earlier “heretics” who criticized the Church, Luther was able to survive because of support from a variety of powerful German princes. The Pope did excommunicate Luther in 1520, and was eventually summoned to the German Holy Roman Emperor to answer charges of heresy. Luther’s famous declaration (“Here I stand. I can do no other.”) lead to him being declared a heretic, but wasn’t prosecuted because he was protected by the Elector of Saxony.
  13. 13. Safe from heresy trials, Luther : 1. Translated the Bible into German (first vernacular translation) which was then distributed via printing press 2. Published his sermons in German which were then distributed via printing press. 3. Transformed church practices in Saxony, which then spread to other areas of Germany (and then to other areas in Europe). This was eventually codified into the doctrines of the Lutheran faith, the first Protestant Church. 4. Married the former nun Katharina von Bora.
  14. 14. Luther ‘s Table Time quotes(his followers wrote down not only his sermons but his dinner table conversation as well): “Young men are plagued by lust, which extinguishes as soon as they enter into matrimony.” “A happy fart never comes from a miserable ass.” “Whoever smells it, out of him it crept.” “Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!” “If God has no sense of humor, I don't want to go to Heaven.”
  15. 15. After Luther there were a variety of other reform movements throughout Europe. The most prominent of these were ones inspired by John Calvin (1509-1564). Calvin eventually created a type of total theocracy in the Swiss city of Geneva.
  16. 16. Most of today’s evangelic-style Christian faiths are either inspired by or directly descended from Calvin’s religious writings.
  17. 17. Aesthetic Responses to Reformation
  18. 18. At one level, while Martin Luther and the other reformers were working, artists in Italy continued to work in the same way. The late Michelangelo’s style(and those who immediately came after) is sometimes referred to as Mannerism, which is characterized by elongated forms, precariously balanced poses, a collapsed perspective, irrational settings, complexity and theatrical lighting.
  19. 19. Raphael (or students) , The Baptism of Constantine, 1520 - 1524
  20. 20. Jacopo Pontormo Entombment 1528
  21. 21. Michelangelo, Last Judgment Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome. 1534-1541
  22. 22. Parmigianino Madonna with Long Neck 1534
  23. 23. Bronzino Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time 1540-45
  24. 24. Cupid Venus Time Jealousy? Syphilis? Temptation + Consequences? Monty Python’s Foot Folly? Pleasure? Fraud?
  25. 25. Giambologna Rape of the Sabine Women 1583
  26. 26. The theatrical art characteristic of the mid 16th century was perhaps what the Reformers had in mind when they began to preach against the rich expensive art of the Catholic Church.
  27. 27. Catholic Church of the Reformation Era
  28. 28. Calvinists destroying images in church Example of iconoclasm (destroying portrayals of the divine)
  29. 29. Dirck van Delen, Iconoclasts in a Church, 1630
  30. 30. Interior of the Choir of St. Bavo in Haarlem (1660) by Pieter Janszoon Saenredam . This Catholic Church was stripped of ornamentation and converted to Protestant use.
  31. 31. Protestant church architecture, in direct constrast to the rich elaborateness of the Catholic church, was very much focused on spartan simplicity.
  32. 32. So why the difference? Is there a different message about spirituality in these two churches?
  33. 33. Counter-Reformation
  34. 34. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church responded to the Protestant Challenge in a variety of ways. This is generally referred to as the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
  35. 35. The Counter Reformation refers to the attempt by the Catholic Church to: 1. Reform itself (e.g., Council of Trent [1545] articulated the main beliefs of Catholicism [still in force], Jesuits) 2. Eliminate Protestant heresy by encouraging monarchs of Catholic lands to defeat or invade lands ruled by Protestant monarchs. 3. More effort in eliminating heresy within Catholic lands (e.g., office of inquisition)
  36. 36. Inquisition
  37. 37. Inquisition Woodcut Why are the victims smiling?
  38. 38. Wars of Religion [1560s-1648] Albrecht Dürer, The Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513.
  39. 39. 1.Revolt of the Netherlands [also known as the 80 Years War, 1568-1648] Protestant nationalists (mainly urban merchants) in the Netherlands rebelled against Catholic Spain. Eventually result: Netherlands Independence
  40. 40. 2. French Wars of Religion [1560s-1598]. Huguenots (Protestants, mainly urban merchants) mainly expelled or killed [e.g., St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, 1572]
  41. 41. St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, 1572. Perhaps as many as 10000 Protestants killed in Paris and other cities in France.
  42. 42. 3. England under Henry VIII made himself head of the Church of England (eventually Anglican church).
  43. 43. 4. Conflict with France and Spain under Elizabeth I [1558-1603], e.g. defeat of Spanish Armada.
  44. 44. 5. Thirty Years War [1618-1648]
  45. 45. Defenestration of Prague [1618] Thirty Years War [1618-1648] began with the Defenestration (throw someone out a window) of Prague. In this case, it was Papal envoys who were defenestrated.
  46. 46. Up until the Second World War, The Thirty Years War, fought mainly in German lands, was the most destructive war in European history.
  47. 47. Reduction in Germany's population as a percentage of the whole population.
  48. 48. Aesthetic Responses to Counter-Reformation
  49. 49. Caravaggio (1571 – 1610)
  50. 50. Caravaggio’s early work was notable for its unusual and frank realism.
  51. 51. Young Sick Bacchus 1593
  52. 52. The Cardsharps, 1593
  53. 53. Caravaggio’s painting were unsettling because he crashes through the safety barrier between the viewer and the painting.
  54. 54. The religious paintings of Caravaggio represents one of the key aesthetic reactions to the Protestant revolt.
  55. 55. The church had argued that church art was the key way for the poor and non-literate to experience religion.
  56. 56. Caravaggio’s paintings rejected the classical and idealistic approach of Renaissance religious painting.
  57. 57. His religious paintings are darkly dramatic (he is the artist of chiaroscuro) and are contemporary in that they contain settings and people from 16th Century Rome. Many of his works are enduring masterpieces of Western art …
  58. 58. Judith Beheading Holofernes
  59. 59. The Sacrifice of Isaac
  60. 60. The Calling of Saint Matthew
  61. 61. The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew
  62. 62. The Martyrdom of Saint Peter
  63. 63. Supper at Emmaus
  64. 64. The Entombment of Christ 1602
  65. 65. Madonna di Loreto Like many of Caravaggio's Roman paintings, the scene is a moment where everyday people encounters the divine, whose appearance is also not unlike that of a common man (or woman).
  66. 66. Death of Mary 1601-6
  67. 67. David with the head of Goliath.
  68. 68. Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – 1652) Follower of Caravaggio. Raped by a fellow student, she is subjected to a long and humiliating trial, in which she is able to sue (and then imprison) her assaulter. Judith Slaying Holofernes, c 1611–12
  69. 69. Artemisia Gentileschi Judith and her maid, c 1613–14
  70. 70. Artemisia Gentileschi Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting (1638)
  71. 71. Music also needed followed the precepts of the Council of Trent.
  72. 72. Palestrina (1525-1594) is the first composer to have his complete works published. His music is restrained so that the sung words can be clearly understood.
  73. 73. Missa Papae Marcelli: Palestrina uses polyphony (two or more voices of equal importance) but is able to not only make the sung words intelligible, but glorifies them as well, thereby achieving the goals of the Council of Trent.
  74. 74. The other stylistic reaction to the Reformation was to emphasize religious themes in a dramatic way that highlight the power, history, and majesty of the Catholic Church.
  75. 75. This style is usually referred to as baroque.
  76. 76. Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)
  77. 77. Self-Portrait Peter Paul
  78. 78. Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus Bernini, 1617
  79. 79. Bernini (1598 – 1680)
  80. 80. A son of a Florentine sculptor, Bernini, was a master at showing drama, tension, and movement in stone.
  81. 81. Works created as a young teenager
  82. 82. St. Lawrence on the Flames (created as an older teenager)
  83. 83. Bernini David 1623
  84. 84. Bernini’s David is quite different from Michelangelo’s. Here the focus is on movement, energy and raw emotions, it draws the viewer into the historical story.
  85. 85. Rape of Proserpine Bernini 1623
  86. 86. Apollo and Daphne Bernini 1625
  87. 87. Bust of Cardinal Scipione Borghese Bernini 1630
  88. 88. Bernini also designed the façade of St. Peters in Rome and colonnade and plaza in front.
  89. 89. St. Peter’s Façade – note the asymmetry, the non-functionality of many of the elements
  90. 90. Bust of Costanza Buonarelli, 1635
  91. 91. Tower plan, façade St. Peters Bernini
  92. 92. The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa Bernini 1647
  93. 93. "I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it” The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini
  94. 94. The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa Bernini 1647
  95. 95. Blessed Ludovica Albertoni Bernini 1671
  96. 96. Bust of Francesco I d'Este Bernini 1650-1651
  97. 97. Bernini also designed the Baldacchino, under the Dome.
  98. 98. … and St. Peter’s Throne
  99. 99. Fountain of the Four Rivers, Piazza Navona, Rome Bernini 1651
  100. 100. Sant'Agnese Church By Francesco Borromini
  101. 101. Sant'Agnese Church By Francesco Borromini
  102. 102. Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, by Francesco Borromini, in Rome
  103. 103. Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, by Francesco Borromini, in Rome
  104. 104. Pallazo Spada By Borromini