Painting and philosophy: Corinna Lotz applauds an exhibition that offers an unsettling encounter with Spanish Golden Age depictions of philosophical thought and religious ideas

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Author: Corinna Lotz
Date: May 2011
From: Apollo(Vol. 173, Issue 587)
Publisher: Apollo Magazine Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 789 words
Lexile Measure: 1480L

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Portraits de la Pensee

11 March-13 June 2011

Palais des Beaux Arts

Catalogue by Alain Tapie and Regis Cotentin

ISBN 978235o39112o, 27 [euro]

(Palais des Beaux Arts/Nicholas Chaudin)

How to give artistic form to the flow of abstract ideas--the work of the mind? That is the conundrum posed by a thought-provoking selection of works from the Spanish Golden Age currently on display at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. In the view of curator Alain Tapie, the late years of that era witnessed a 'second Renaissance' centred on Naples, a city which, under the Spanish Habsburgs, became home to numerous Spanish, Italian and Dutch artists.

Roman Catholicism had come under attack as the Netherlands and Flanders embraced Protestant ideas. So, from the mid-16th-century, the Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation in an attempt to revitalise and re-legitimise itself. A range of intellectual debates, including the revival of ancient Greek philosophies, found a powerful reflection in the art of the day.

The surprisingly secular images of saints, thinkers and rogues in 'Portraits de la Pensee' reveal the conflicting ideologies generated by these religious and social convulsions. Painters responded not only to the wishes of the ecclesiastical literati, but also...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A257433655