— ART HISTORY & IMAGE STUDIES —
The Council of Trent and the Arts: Rome 1585-1621
Council of Trent, last session, December 1561 - defined the role assigned to the arts
Religious imagery was admitted and welcomed as a support to religious teaching
One passage of the decree demands that 'by means of the stories of the mysteries of our Redemption portrayed by paintings or other representations,the people be instructed and confirmed in the habit of remembering, and continually revolving in mind the articles of faith'.
Recommendations of various writers may be summarized under three headings:
'PC' images ('piously correct') are meant to:
Most of the artists working roughly between l550 and 1590 practised a style that was
virtuosity of execution and highly decorative surface qualities go with compositional decentralization and spatial and colouristic complexities
deliberate physical and psychic ambiguities puzzle the beholder
intricacies of handling are often matched by the intricacies of content.
many pictures and fresco cycles of the period are obscure and esoteric
little power to stir religious emotions in the mass of the faithful.
lacked clarity, realism, and emotional intensity.