Friday, December 17, 2010

Religious Renaissance

This should be old news, but just a reminder from Alexander Nagel's Art Bulletin review of Jörg Traeger's Renaissance und Religion: Die Kunst des Glaubens im Zeitalter Raphaels:
Richard Trexler said it three decades ago: "The pagan Renaissance is no more." One hundred years of scholarship since Burckhardt had made it clear, Trexler declared, that "Renaissance man remained a Christian, even a pious one."' Since then sociohistorical and anthropological approaches to the Renaissance have only confirmed the pervasive presence of religious traditions and institutions in the life of the period. Historians have argued that traditional piety was vital and functional right up until the Reformation, revising the traditional view of a corrupt and disintegrating Christian culture begging to be cleared away.

[H]istorians of Renaissance art no longer chronicle the progress of art away from religion. Instead they show, over and over again-in studies of family chapels and confraternities, of political self-representation and civic ritual-the various ways in which art was embedded in the elaborate structures that joined religious, social, and political life.
Got that?