Visual Literacy In Visual Art

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“Visual Literacy” The influence of the Counter-Reformation on the state of visual art in the early 16th century was dramatic. Much of the art of this period was used as an educational tool for Catholics who may not have been literate, but were devoted to the images and sculptures in their churches. Protestants, especially Martin Luther who translated Scripture into the common vernacular, were extremely adamant about the masses being literate especially in regards to Scripture. As a way to present the same education to the entire population, the Catholic Church emphasized education by visual literacy. Many of the defining features of Baroque art can be traced back to the influence of the Catholic Church, specifically the members of the Jesuits. At the final session of the Council of Trent it was decreed that by seeing “[their] Redemption, portrayed by paintings or other representations” the people should be inspired to ”give God thanks for those things; may order their own lives and manners in imitation of the saints; and may be excited to adore and love God, and to cultivate piety” (Waterworth, 170). Although this decree was made after many of the changes in art had happened, it…show more content…
The reason for the increase in violence and dramatic action within paintings was because the focus of artists switched. They decided that instead of painting from the moment of triumph at the end of the story, they would instead recreate the most dramatic moment of the story. This allowed for more expression of emotion through the faces of the characters. This is useful as a means of education because it expresses the most details about a particular story in the smallest amount of imagery. This meant that viewers needed less prior knowledge in order to understand what was happening in the work, and caused them to draw from details in the painting or sculpture such as relics or body
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