Underlying the religious art of the Renaissance is a tension
between the needs of the Church and the impulse to create great
works. This beautifully illustrated book presents sacred images
from the 15th and 16th centuries, leading up to two pivotal events
in 1563. The Council of Trent, which signified the beginning of the
Counter-Reformation, defined requirements that curtailed the
freedom of painters and patrons in creating art for churches, while
the founding of the Accademia del Disegno in Florence symbolically
acknowledged that artists had achieved the status of creators not
craftsmen. Marcia B. Hall takes a fresh look at some of the
greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance not typically
associated with sacred imagery and shows how they navigated their
way through the paradox of "limited freedom" to forge a new kind of
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