Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation was a time when the Church was split into two: Protestants and Catholics. The divide happened over the dispute of relgious practices. Catholics demanded church practices and offered indulgences, when the Protestants like Martin Luther believed in personal faith. 16th Century art in Northern Europe was affected by the Protestant Reformation. More Woodcuts were being created with the invention of the Printing Press. Prints were even disputed as means of propaganda. One example of a woodcut is the "Allegory of Law and Grace" by Lucas Cranach The Elder. In this print, it shows the differences between the Protestants and the Catholics.
During the time of the Reformation, Patrons were affected and so were the types of art commissioned. For example, the Catholics thought art enhanced worship so religious artworks were commissioned. Matthias Grunewald made the "Isenheim Altarpiece" which can be found in the Hospital of Saint Anthony. In this altarpiece, it shows the crucifixion and it causes a person to re-evaluate their lives because its found in a hosptial. Right before death, nothing is more Catholic than feeling guilty.
One artist that reflected Protestant values in his art was Albrecht Durer,whom was a friend of Martin Luther. He was talented with woodcuts, engraving and watercolors. In one of his woodcuts ,"Last Supper", represents the Lutheran Doctrine of the sacrament of communion. Durer also believed that God was to be worshipped on a personal level and it was reflected in his art.

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