The Role Of Ex-Votos In Renaissance Art

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Ex-votos inhabited in the Catholic church for sacrifices or offerings, and were placed in sanctuary of churches. This was problematic because many criticized they were forms of idols and idolatry. Many of the ex-votos that were given before the church were body parts or special possessions of the person who brought them forward. The critics of this practice claimed that “[God] wants our hearts and our minds; he does not go searching for images of wax” which is why they attempted to steer people away from this practice of offering wax pieces of the body to the church as a resemblance of offering it to God (Holmes 159). It also took up space within the sanctuary where people would go to practice their faith and worship God. Also, the amount of emotional attachment that was put into the offerings of wax pieces supported the critics claim that these objects were forms of idols (Holmes 160). This created tension and division among those in the church about if ex-votos should be used and what their place was within the church. I believe that ex-votos were art because they were being made and sculpted into forms to be offered to the church. Many artworks during the Italian Renaissance were…show more content…
Art made of this type of material is not commonly covered in art history courses for this time period. However, it related to the common theme of Italian Renaissance art being more naturalistic and depicting the natural world. Wax forms were depicting the natural world because they were taken from body parts or living creatures. The study of ex-votos also shows the artistic offerings ordinary people were giving to the church and to God instead of popular artists of the time commissioning works for the
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