Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Naturalism in art - a Renaissance development

A crucial development in the Renaissance was the ability of artists to successfully imitate nature, naturalism in art is the ability to emulate and represent nature in a lifelike manner whether in painting or through sculpture. As a result, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Giorgionne and Titian were in effect able to transpose nature at its most beautiful and apply it both realistically and convincingly to the canvas.
The Sleeping Venus,
By the Italian Renaissance Master Giorgione
1510 c.
Oil on Cancas, Click to Enlarge
The emergence of a naturalistic vision within Renaissance art was a crucial development (innovation) and was an important factor in the artistic revival taking place at the time.

“How far were the aims and achievements of the Council of Trent influenced by the Protestant Reformation?”

“How far were the aims and achievements of the Council of Trent influenced by the Protestant Reformation?”

Most certainly, there is no doubt that the Protestant Reformation had impacted upon the Council of Trent and its subsequent decisions. The Catholic Church’s continual corruption had to be stopped, in order for revival to be achieved, and the Popes would have to lead the example in order to achieve this. When the Council of Trent was finally called it served as a catalyst for further reform, as it was generally believed at the time that a general council of the church would save her as an institution. The Council of Trent was part of The Roman Catholic Church’s response to the Protestant Reformation. It served as an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, it clarified Catholic doctrine and promulgated reforms: fixing the number of sacraments, issuing decrees on clerical morals and ordering the establishment of seminaries. In addition, the Council of Trent, (1545-63), led a doctrinal attack on Lutheranism and clarified Catholic orthodoxy. It helped to establish new reforming religious orders, especially the Jesuits, for missionary work, and the Inquisition was received to root out heresy. Furthermore Catholic monarchs, such as Charles v and Philip II of Spain, campaigned against Protestant states, taking direct action to quash them. At the heart of the issues discussed by the General Council in 1545, were its aims to remove clerical abuses and define the Catholic doctrine.

Luther demanded in1520 the calling of a general Church Council in order to reassess the methods in which the Church taught how salvation was gained. Luther wanted the Catholic Church to accept his reading of St Paul, otherwise known as ‘justification by faith and faith alone’. Even Charles V the Emperor had hoped for a general Council to be called in order to deal with the Protestant and Lutheran issues once and for all. Pope Paul III in 1536 became convinced that only a general council of the Church would rescue the organisation. At the time it was widely held that Germany would become completely Protestant and Henry VIII had already made the break with Rome. Protestant ideas seemed to be spreading to the Northern Italian towns too. This served as a motive for the Catholic Church to make its priority for the key aims of the Council of Trent to focus and distinguish between Protestant and Catholic beliefs. For instance, the teaching on transubstantiation was reinforced, as was, the importance of priests, belief in purgatory and the central importance of the papacy.

“How far were the aims and achievements of the Council of Trent influenced by the Protestant Reformation?” Part 2

Despite the Catholic Church rejecting the Protestants’ theological arguments, they did adopt and accept some of the more practical approaches to religion and religious practice. Moreover, the use of the consistory, the emphasis put on the sermon, and the importance attached to the role of education, and the social and spiritual welfare of the people, were all key features protestant practices. The Jesuits especially used preaching as a method of achieving and transmitting the ideas of the ideas of the Council of Trent. In addition the Protestants also emphasised education, focusing on the written word, literacy. As the religion itself was focused on the bible. As a result Protestants could openly communicate their religion. In response to this religious education, the education, the Catholic Church set up schools, such as in Poland under the Jesuit’s control. As this was a way of emphasising Catholic teaching and thought, most of these ideas were implemented after the Council of Trent.

Although Protestantism had the effect of speeding up Catholic reform; thereby serving as a catalyst for the subsequent calling of the Council of Trent. However, there probably would have still been a general Council, as there were problems with the Fifth Lateran Council 1512-1517, where there were attempts to reform such as the education of the clergy long before Luther had even revolted. But has the contribution of the seminary been in place before the Reformation or because of the Reformation, and did Trent set up seminaries because it sought to promote priestly education as a means of challenging Protestantism? To answer this the initiatives for the quest of priestly education going back before pre-reformation reform must be considered. For instance popes such as Pope Eugenius II in 826AD worked towards the establishment of facilities for training clerics. It is not simply the case of Trent countering the Protestants views and adapting its aims in order to suit this initiative. Many of Trent’s aims and decisions were in fact, as previously stated, pre-determined by prior medieval councils.

Art Timeline of Art Movements

This article will consider the major art periods and movements since the turn of the first century A.D.
(Please Note: that this is not a comprehensive list and only includes what are deemed to be the most significant art movements; also there is overlap within the areas of modern art movements)

The Romanesque Era

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Disraeli: Arguments regarding social reform

Disraeli: Arguments regarding social reform

Disraeli built on the Gladstonian legacy: many of the reforms finished-off what Gladstone had already commenced. The Public Health Act (1875) was a good example of this. As it responded to a Royal Commission Report first set up by Gladstone. (Read more after Break)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Ionic Order Definition

An Example of the Ionic Order
The ionic order forms one of the three orders, also referred to as organisational systems of classical architecture. Namely Greek and Roman architecture. The order was developed by the Greeks for their temple architecture. The name ionic is derived from the Ionian Islands where the style of architecture was first employed. (Read more after Break)

Gladstone’s reforms during his first ministry

Education Act: progress and meritocracy were key elements of Liberal thinking and ideology. (Read more after Break)

Gladstone’s reforms during his first ministry Part 2

Gladstone disliked the approach taken by Palmerston to foreign policy. Palmerstone pursued an aggressive ‘gunboat-diplomacy’ style, which Gladstone found distasteful and ‘un-British’. (Evidence of this can be seen in the Don Pacifico affair in 1850). (Read more after Break)

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