Visual Arts And Literature Essay

In ocular humanistic disciplines and literature. the sacred and the layman. separate entities in themselves meld into one another. often bring forthing a loanblend which gives rise to a new seculo-religious genre. Despite of the philosophy of separation of the church and province. most times it was the priests who were in charge of many other countries outside the spiritual kingdom such as instruction and political relations. The far-reaching influence of the church had caused creative persons. instrumentalists. designers. and writers to integrate elements of the sacred in their work.

Besides these practicians had fervent. deeply-rooted strong beliefs which consciously and unconsciously pervaded their work. In the text Culture and Valuess: Survey of the Humanities. the double presence of both sacred and secular represents the brotherhood of two major domains. Cunningham observes that “the intermingling of secular with spiritual elements is exhaustively in conformity with Renaissance ideals” ( Cunningham 291 ) . Tiziano Vecelli ( 1473-1576 ) was a Renaissance creative person who mingled the sacred and secular in his art pieces.

His major chef-d’oeuvres include The Assumption of the Virgin ( 1516 ) . The Pesaro Madonna ( 1519-1526 ) . Venus of Urbino ( 1538 ) . Danae with Nursemaid ( 1553-1556 ) . Presentation of the Blessed Virgin ( 1539 ) . and St. Peter the Martyr ( 1530 ) . His artistic life is characterized by the mixture. in one manner or another. of Christian spiritual facets with secular ( and heathen ) aspects. On one manus. one attests to Vecelli’s Marian devotedness in his portrayals such as The Premise of the Virgin ( 1516-1518 ) . which stands proudly in the Venetian Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and The Pesaro Madonna ( 1519-1526 ) . placed at the Frari Basilica Chapel.

The pictures laud Mary as a holy human mediator and divinity with the Child Jesus. Enmeshed in the words are the worship of the saints. heavenly glorification. and apostles. all in a position of solemn and sacred fear At the same clip his juicy picture of Venus is Venus of Urbino ( 1538 ) exhibits the bare organic structure of a adult female poised in a supine place on her bed. with seductive poses. Venus is the heathen goddess of love. birthrate. and sex frequently depicted as a cocotte. Danae with Nursemaid besides derives from Greco-Roman mythology.

The art work demonstrates the bare Danae lying on a bed with her eyes heavenward and her amah Abbot Suger ( 1081-1151 ) is the 1 responsible for the rise of Gothic architecture and its popularity within the Christian church in the early ninth and 10th centuries. In the reading and building of Gothic edifices “ ( secular ) builders and theologists worked closely together” ( Cunningham 218 ) . The coaction of both secular and sacred positions gives birth to gothic architecture which began in Paris and which celebrated “the philosophical and theological traditions known as scholasticism” ( Cunningham 209 ) .

Suger functioned as the Abbey of Saint Denis and hence the architecture served both for spiritual upheaval and secular esteem. The merger of the layman and the sacred is evidenced in the proliferation of literature in the medieval and renascent times. The Summa Theologica. a literary and theological chef-d’oeuvre. “represents … the hierarchal and man-made spiritual humanitarianism of the in-between ages” ( Cunningham 232 ) . Written by St. Thomas Aquinas ( 1225-1274 ) . the Summa Theologica sets forth the primary beliefs and tenet of the church explaining and corroborating statements for theocentrism and besides incorporating humanism’s philosophies.

The scriptorium was the designated authorship room within monasteries. Cunningham paperss that “from the 7th century on cloistered scriptoria were busily engaged copying a wealth of stuff. both sacred and profane” ( Cunningham 193 ) . Priests and mendicants wrote several essays. verse forms. and theses. Furthermore in the Islamic tradition. one sees the amalgamation of the layman and the sacred. Muslim literature became a authoritative art signifier where calligraphic word pictures of sacred Hagiographas are etched on Muslim mosques. The art work symbolizes the Muslim construct of their God. Allah. who encompasses everything.

These Hagiographas were frequently extracted from transitions in the Qu’ran. Perceivers in authoritative Renaissance mosque bear informant to “elaborate mosaics and geometric decoration” ( Cunningham 311 ) . One major illustration of the Islamic artistic achievement is the Arabic book. The beautiful Arabic book was originally sacred as it read the holy words of the Muslim religion. nevertheless it shortly became both sacred and secular. as all right art. “The Kufic book is one of the most beautiful earliest and most beautiful of Arabic penmanship styles” ( Cunningham 176 ) .

The geometric lines of the Kufic book are typical since they boast perpendicular lines and forms. The Catholic Church endorsed “the dual use for humanist acquisition for secularist and religious reform” ( Cunningham 289 ) . Humanist and theological rules were unified in order to accommodate two divergent positions where doctrine became spiritualized. Another creative person who believed in the seculo-religious amalgamation was Wassily Kandinsky who composed Refering the Spiritual in Art ( 1911 ) and “claimed that the beginning of all true art was the human soul” ( Cunningham 307 ) .

This position is in conformity with humanitarianism where adult male is at the centre of the existence ( frequently represented as a adult male. centralized within a circle ) . A feature of Kandinsky’s work is his compulsion with geometry. trigons. and circles. Refering the Spiritual in Art. Kandinsky likens man’s life as a triangular pyramid where the ultimate end is to accomplish dominance at the top. Man’s psyche can either be base ( at the underside of the trigon or exalted at the zenith. This art system hearkens back to Leonardo district attorney Vinci’s classical Vitruvian Man ( 1490 ) where the adult male is his ain existence.

This dual dimensioned picture shows a bare adult male at the same time with his legs apart and his legs together. and his weaponries apart in two places. The homocentrtic adult male stands as his ain step enclosed in a circle and square. Kalinsky besides saw the spiritualty of colour for in his work he expressed the joyful. spiritually ecstasy in vivid and bright colour versus the dark. melancholy colour. However. there were oppositions to the brotherhood of secular and sacred who held that both should be kept separate.

The integrity between sacred and layman was non a smooth passage nor was it a consentaneous motion. “the civilization of the 15th century frequently was in fact a dialectical battle at times classical ideals clashed with scriptural ideals ; at other times the two managed to populate in harmoniousness or in a impermanent matrimony of convenience. The strains of Classicism and Christianity interacted in complex and elusive ways” ( 291 ) . Catholic Emperor Justinian I was a fan of secular and sacred architecture. He personally directed the hard-on of several. luxuriant cathedrals with Byzantine designs.

He helped build many churches. convents. and castles. viz. . The Great Palace of Constantinople. Basilica Cistern. Church of St. Sophia. and Saint Apollinaire Nuovo. During the reign of Justinian. after the conquering of the old folk. the Goths ( from which one gets the word Gothic ) . the art works of the conquered folk became decorations which were positioned within the churches. Cunningham testifies that Gothic “mosaics were added to the church when the edifice passed from the Goths into Byzantine hands” ( Cunningham 161 ) .

In Justinian’s clip saw a pronounced proliferation of icon pictures which featured images of Christ and which commenced an iconic manner. However. oppositions to the incorporation of these icons rebelled to the new moving ridge of art and therefore became iconoclastic ( therefore the beginning of the word ) . Justinian besides had mosaics crafted of him and his married woman. Theodora. called the Ravenna Mosaics. They portray the royal twosome with Godhead auras around their caputs which explain their religio-political positions of Godhead right to govern.

Motions within the church and faith rose up to maintain the layman and the sacred separate. One such fervent critic of the seculo-religious combination is Girolamo Savonarola ( 1542-1498 ) who in an effort to reform the church who embraced the secular. implemented book firing to strike the effete stuff from the holy Hagiographas. As a passionate Dominican mendicant. his extremist positions were vehemently anti-Renaissance and anti-humanist. He disagreed with the secular literary that was deriving land within the church.

However. he was condemned a heretic. excommunicated. and martyred. Savonarola wrote religious speculations based on Psalms 50 and Psalms 51. The Church besides proscribed certain Hagiographas and did non digest dissident instructions such as Galileo’s Refering the Two Chief World Systems ( 1632 ) . Galileo Galilei wrote Refering the Two Chief World Systems ( 1632 ) and following Copernicus. concluded that the Sun was at the centre of the existence. Galileo’s “discoveries brought ecclesiastical animadversion and he was forced to abjure before the Inquisition.

Confronting a possible exclusion and martyrdom. Galileo chose to abdicate his beliefs to continue his life while the Catholic Church bans his book as a out text. Two subdivisions of Buddhism emerge in the thesis and antithesis of the layman and the sacred. The Hinayana is a more stiff signifier of Chinese Buddhism whereas Mahayana is more worldly and was attractive to Confucians. On the ascetic side. Hinayana appreciated “Buddhist art ( which ) aimed to animate religious speculation and a rejection of worldly values” ( Cunningham 129 ) .

The art work that emblemized the adherent’s asceticism is the Fasting Buddha. The image of the Fasting Buddha embodied “the bid to abdicate all worldly pleasures” ( Cunningham 120 ) . This sculpture forms an indispensable portion of Gandhara Art which represents a thin. gaunt adult male in a cross-legged sitting place with a aura about his caput. typifying the attendant enlightenment. This old-timer shows Siddhartha who fasted for three months. denying himself and chew overing.

The monasteries which supported Mahayana grew faster and were patronized by the affluent elite categories. Hinduism besides contains a intercrossed literature which included Hindu sacred text every bit good as secular gustatory sensations. The Gitanjali is an anthology of verse forms translated into English from the original Vedic manuscripts where its writer. Rabindranath Tagore wrote the anthology which signifies “an offering of vocals. ” The poesy still retains its strong spiritual intensions however. it speaks of and brings together both universes of the layman and the sacred.

“in 1913. Tagore won the Nobel Prize for literature for Gitanjali. a aggregation of verse forms based upon traditional Hindu themes” ( Cunningham 314 ) . The work typifies a pulling together of two organic structures the male and the female and at the same clip uses this sexual imagination to relay information about the ultimate enigma of man’s religious brotherhood with the Godhead. In amount the connection of the layman and the sacred Tells that although disparate in nature these dualities manage to unite and organize a powerful force in art and literature.

One can non deny that in order to non lose its peculiar features and individuality. schemes of separation between the layman and the sacred have been executed. Holiness ought to be preserved as sanctum and the secular as its secular ego. Difference can be necessary in order to forestall dilution and weakening of nucleus rules which can be misplaced with frequent mixture.

Plants Cited:

Cunningham. Lawrence S. John J Reich. Culture and Valuess: A Survey of the Humanities. Wadsworth. Boston. 2006.