European Renaissance and Reformation 1350-1600: Arts Research Article from World Eras

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Monastic Communities. During the late Middle Ages, monastic communities brought the devout closer to images of salvation by revealing paths to the discovery of God. These monasteries, friaries, and nunneries were indispensable centers of urban education. Through sermons and the liturgy, and the commissioning of religious art, they helped preserve religious norms and values. Monks and nuns were living examples of the personal struggle for perfection through prayer and meditation. The powerful stimulus of sacred images generated tension and ambiguity in their interpretation by the unlettered. For example, the second of the ten commandments prohibited the worship of images. Rather than serving as a permeable screen through which the divine was accessed, the image might be worshiped directly. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas these images instructed the ignorant and illiterate, stimulated devotion, and reminded one of the precepts of the church. As creators of religious art, painters knew...

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This section contains 1,253 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the European Renaissance and Reformation 1350-1600: Arts Encyclopedia Article
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World Eras
European Renaissance and Reformation 1350-1600: Arts from World Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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