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Baroque Art

Decent Essays
The era of Baroque Art is one of artistic freedom and innovation but also served as a way to achieve political and religious objectives. It was a response to the “battles of faith between Catholics and Protestants” . The counter reformation, or the catholic reformation, was a time of resurgence within the catholic faith in response to the Protestant reformation, beginning with the proclamation of the Council of Trent (1545-1563), throughout the 16th and 17th century. The catholic church responded to the Protestants opposition to “cult images” of saints and Christ by promoting religious imagery and holy pictures as never before . The counter reformation influenced the style of Baroque art as a tool to guide and implement the Catholic faith.…show more content…
This paper will examine the paintings of George De La Tours’s The Penitent Magdalene (1640-1645), Sebastiono Del Piombo’s Christ Carrying the Cross (1635-40), Santi di Tito’s Vision of St Thomas Aquinas (1593), and Caravaggio’s Madonna of Loreto 1603-1606). Mary Magdalene, a prominent biblical character, traditionally depicted as a repentant sinner turned saint, was a symbol of the sacrament of penance and reconciliation . She was a courtesan prior to being converted by her sister Martha to the doctrines of Jesus Christ, and eventually Mary would become one of Christ’s most devote followers and as a result was exonerated of her sins . During the Counter Reformation, the imagery of the cult of saints was revisited, and the cult of the Magdalene experienced a rebirth- it was used as an instrument of ecclesia propaganda. The fact that Mary Magdalene was a converted sinner, made her an approachable and relatable saint for everyday Catholics, especially women, to form a religious connection with- she served as a role model for women . Georges De…show more content…
Thomas of Aquinas, epitomizes the values of delectore, movere and docere in order to create a religious conversion from the audience. This can be summed up as a paintings purpose is “to teach, to delight and to move” in order to generate a reaction from the viewer . Di Tito has painted the Dominican St Thomas kneeling in a religious exuberance in front of a crucified Jesus, surrounded by St Catherine of Alexandra who is an emblem of faith, the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and St John. The painting depicts the miracle which occurred when Christ spoke to the St Thomas from a painting, which parallels with the similar experience the viewer has when observing this work of art . The depth and intensity of St. Thomas’s faith, allows for the image to disappear to be replaced by the real event. The idea of illusions come into play as the other figures in the painting seem to move out of the altarpiece painting and into physical space, playing with the idea of perspective manipulation . Di Tito’s style creates “no boundar[ies] between the spectators reality” and that of the painting creating a blurred line between the real and the visionary . This paintings portrays the transparency of a narrative (delectare), “purity of feeling” (movere), and the
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