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Religion in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century European Art

Whether artists were working under the patronage of a Catholic Pope, endorsing a Counter-Reformation agenda, or producing art influenced by the Protestant Reformation, religion had an undeniable impact on the creation of art in the High Renaissance and Baroque periods in Europe.

Carefully examine the following works, and read about each one in your textbook, course and video lectures, and through reliable internet resources:

Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-12
Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece, 1510-15
Durer, Four Apostles, 1526
Caravaggio, The Calling of St. Matthew, 1599-1600
Rubens, The Raising of the Cross, 1610-11
In an essay of 5-7 well-developed paragraphs, address each of the following questions, making specific references to the five paintings listed above:

How does each painting reflect the religious context in which it was created? What is the religious context or influence apparent in each painting?
What additional historical events may have influenced the creation of each painting?
What, if any, was the influence of the patron of each painting?
Explain how the style and specific visual characteristics of each painting contributed to or reflected its overall religious context or meaning, especially for contemporary audiences.
Include specific details about the visual characteristics and content of each painting in your response.

Provide proper citations for any information from outside sources included in your essay.

Category: Essays

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