Council of Trent
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Council of Trent was the 19th Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. Considered one of the Church's important councils, it was convened in Trento three times between December 13, 1545 and December 4, 1563 as a response to the Protestant Reformation. It clearly specified current Catholic doctrines on salvation, the sacraments, and the Biblical canon, answering all Protestant disputes.
- The Council of Trent addressed the representational arts - at that time what is now known as baroque - by demanding that paintings and sculptures in church contexts should speak to the illiterate rather than to the well-informed. This turn toward a populist conception of the function of ecclesiastical art is seen by many art historians as driving the innovations of Caravaggio and the Carracci brothers, all of whom were working (and competing for commissions) in Rome around 1600.
- Censorship of the visual arts: 1563: The Roman Catholic council of Trent concludes that sex is bad and denounces paintings calculated to excite lust. Pope Paul IV ordered clothes painted onto the naked figures in Michelangelo's painting, Last Judgement, in the Sistine Chapel, which Michelangelo ignored.
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum - The council appointed, in 1562 (eighteenth session), a commission to prepare a list of forbidden books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum), but it later left the matter to the Pope. The Index librorum prohibitorum was announced 1564 and the following books were issued with the papal imprimatur.