This book examines the promotion of the sensuous as part of religious experience in the Roman Catholic Church of the early modern period. During the Counter-Reformation, every aspect of religious and devotional practice was reviewed, including the role of art and architecture, while the invocation of the five senses to incite devotion became a hotly contested topic. The Protestants had condemned the material cult of veneration of relics and images, rejecting the importance of emotion and the senses and instead promoting the power of reason in receiving the Word of God. After much debate, the Church concluded that the senses are necessary to appreciate the sublime, and that they derive from the Holy Spirit. As part of its attempt to win back the faithful, the Church embraced the sensuous and promoted the use of images, relics, liturgy, processions, music and theatre as important parts of religious experience.
Marcia B. Hall is Professor of Italian Renaissance Art History and Director of Graduate Studies at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She is the author and editor of several books, including The Sacred Image in the Age of Art: Titian, Tintoretto, Barocci, El Greco, Caravaggio; After Raphael; and Renovation and Counter Reformation: Vasari and Duke Cosimo in Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, 1564-77. Tracy E. Cooper is Professor of Art History at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She is the author of Renaissance, and her book, Palladio's Venice: Architecture and Society in a Renaissance Republic, received the Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Prize from the Renaissance Society of America as well as a Special Mention for the Premio Salimbeni. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships including, most recently, ones from the Renaissance Society of America and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.
1. Introduction Marcia B. Hall; 2. The sensuous: recent research Tracy E. Cooper; 3. Trent, sacred images, and Catholics' senses of the sensuous John W. O'Malley; 4. The world made flesh: spiritual subjects and carnal depictions in Renaissance art Bette Talvacchia; 5. How words control images: the rhetoric of decorum in Counter-Reformation Italy Robert Gaston; 6. Custodia degli occhi: discipline and desire in post-Tridentine Italian art Maria Loh; 7. Raffaelle Borghini and the corpus of Florentine art in an age of reform Stuart Lingo; 8. Censure and censorship in Rome ca.1600: visitation of Clement VIII and the visual arts Opher Mansour; 9. Painting virtuously: the Counter-Reform and the reform of artists' education in Rome between guild and academy Peter Lukehart; 10. Carlo Borromeo and the dangers of lay women in church Richard Scofield; 11. 'To be in heaven': Saint Filippo Neri between aesthetic emotion and mystical ecstasy Costanza Barbieri; 12. Rebuilding faith through art: Christoph Schwarz's altarpiece for the new Jesuit school in Munich Jeffrey Chipps Smith; 13. 'Until shadows disperse': Augustine's twilight Meredith Gill; 14. A machine for souls: allegory before and after Trent Amy Powell.