The Reformation and Northern Renaissance Arts

625 Words3 Pages
In the early 16th century, the Protestant Reformation divided the unity of the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation movement began in Germany led by Martin Luther. His speeches and writings were passed on all over Europe with the help of the printing press. It started in response to the rising sense of corruption in the church. For instance, “the sale of indulgences for the benefit of the church of Rome specifically for the rebuilding of St. Peters Cathedral provoked harsh criticism, especially by those who saw the luxuries of the papacy as a betrayal of apostolic ideals ” (Fiero 119). Martin Luther stated a list of objections, called the Ninety-Five Theses, against the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant Reformation changed the course of Western civilization for the long term which led to the impact on the arts using Northern Renaissance art, music and literature. Protestant reformers made two new printmaking processes, which were woodcut and engraving. Compared to the too expensive hand-illuminated manuscripts, books with printed pictures became an inexpensive option for all (Fiero 127). Albrecht Durer was an excellent draftsman, excelling at printmaking, and engraving. He promoted printmaking as a major art form during the Renaissance period of the Protestant reformation. The most famous woodcut from Dürer's series of illustrations for, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse presents the terrifying events from the New Testament, book of Revelation. It tells the story of the end of the world and the coming of the Kingdom of God. Durer transforms what was not a threatening image in the Bibles, into an action and threatening moment on his woodcut. Music is one of the impacts in the Protestant Reformation. Church music was, as it still is, a very major component. During the Reformation period, the alteration in music immediately began in the newly formed
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