The cult staging of an altarpiece : the case of the painting of The Death of St Francis Xavier in the Church of St Salvator in the Old Town of Prague
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2019, vol. 68, iss. 2, pp. 230-239
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
In the early modern period the Jesuit Order, like few others, developed a complex programme for the application of fine art in religious practice. A key place in this programme is occupied by representations of the order's main patrons St Ignatius of Loyola and St Francis Xavier, both of whom were an essential presence in any of the order's churches. Devotional images (based on widespread prototypes of the vera effigies, i.e. 'true likeness' of the saints) and altar paintings presenting them in more or less established scenes from their lives were used to spread and strengthen the reverence in which they were held. It is worth noting that although the primary function of altarpieces was to visually complete the liturgical space, some of them acquired the reputation of devotional and miraculous images. With regard to this function these images were staged within the sacred space as objects of cult veneration, promoted with the aid of devotional prints and print reproductions, or painted copies. This phenomenon illustrates the problem of the status of religious images in the early modern era in an especially apt form.
- Tato studie je výstupem výzkumného projektu Idea a její realizace: výtvarná kultura jezuitského řádu v českých zemích (GA ČR, č. projektu 17-11912S).