JUBILEE CULTURAL ROUTES

THE AGE OF CONTRASTS. TRIUMPH AND HUMILTY

You are along the route: THE AGE OF CONTRASTS. TRIUMPH AND HUMILTY

Tappe del percorso

All of the places recommended in this itinerary are open from Wednesday to Sunday. Palazzo Barberini is closed on Mondays, while the Galleria Spada and Palazzo Corsini are closed on Tuesdays.

In the mid-sixteenth century, the Catholic Church implemented a major restoration plan, codified in the Council of Trent, to counter the spread of the Protestant reformation, which was putting its supremacy in jeopardy; this came to be known as the Counter-reformation.
The Roman Curia used all the means at its disposal to reinforce its own power: religious, political, judicial, cultural and even military.
In this period of history, between struggles for renewal and pushes towards conservation, art expressed itself in contrasting ways. In painting, especially, there was a creation of two different and in certain aspects contrasting trends.
The first is represented by the celebrative triumphalism of the Catholic Church, which was also codifying its sacred icons so that they could be used as a clear expression of its new message. The focus here is on everything that is a celebration of the Saints and sacred stories told in an illuminating and all-eloquent language.
At the same time, together with other internal sensitivities of the Church, a trend began to develop in which there was a greater focus on the humble. The ultimate exponent of this natural line of thought was Caravaggio, and it was then taken on by his followers: dark settings, with few protagonists violently lit by a single source of light. The strictly sacred scenes depicted in this peculiar figurative manner were combined with allegorical and moralistic themes represented more realistically through gypsies, travellers, card players, beggars and vendors. This form of art, created in the late sixteenth century, gave rise during the following century to a new genre of painting, that of the Bamboccianti, called thus by its creator Pieter van Laer, known as Il Bamboccio, renowned for street scenes and costumes.
On one hand, the splendid and victorious Church, on the other the realism of the humble: the two languages of a tormented and contradictory period in history.

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