17th Century Catholic Art


The 17th century was mostly based on baroque art. This art movement began with the Council of Trent. This was the period when there was lots of revolt against the Catholic Church with a lot of the remaining apostles being persecuted and even crucified. Religious art through the ages had different perceptions of the religion but there was a great shift during the 17th century. Some of the dramatic moments in the lives of the apostles can be found in the form of such religious art. Rather than going for the simple everyday stories of the bible, the artists would find out the events that had been relegated to philosophers and other scholars.

One painting in this regard was The Crucifixion of Saint Peter of 1601. This painting, currently located in the Cerasi Chapel, Snata Maria del Popolo, Rome, depicts Saint Peter being hauled to the cross by mean-looking men. The old saint is shown with a face full of sadness and a bit of regret. As it is often said, the saint was crucified upside-down, there is a man hoisting him to the upside-down position. Other paintings made in the same period focused on themes such as the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and other events that occurred after the gospels in the bible. These events would grow tremendously in importance throughout the century and long after.

The themes exhibited in Catholic art during the 17th century survived for a few centuries before artists largely went back to the previous perceptions which focused on the life of Jesus Christ from childhood to the time he ascended to heaven. However, they did not die out in totality. In fact, 17th century art had brought out a facet of religious art that would later on find homage in various churches and art museums across the globe. Scholars would also use them for their studies on the life of Jesus Christ and the apostles.

Author bio: Rana Tarakji is an entrepreneur and a contributing writer at Stylerail, a lifestyle blog, as well as Sataco, an electro mechanical company in Lebanon.