CRRS Working Group – The Arts in the Post-Tridentine Era: Histories and Historiographies in Transition

Pasquale Cati, The Council of Trent, 1588
Cappella Altemps, Sta. Maria in Trastevere, Rome

Since the broadly-based pioneering research on the post-Tridentine era during the earlier twentieth century, substantial effort has been expended on assessing the fate of the arts in this context. For scholars interested in the era early on, there was often a sense that with the close of the Council of Trent in 1563, things changed with respect to the patronage, production, and reception of the arts (including but not limited to the visual arts, architecture, music, literature, and theatre) even if some of these changes had been percolating well before that. While much of this research is framed by the notion of artistic reform as a Counter-Reformation strategy and return to Catholic orthodoxy, more recent research has sought to reconfigure and expand the framework.

Continuing this research, the working group asks: What would another assessment of the post-Tridentine era in 2023-24 look like for the arts and their historiographies? What would happen to our understanding of the arts were we to reconsider production of the era 1) as straddling more explicitly both the sacred and secular realms; 2) as generated in Italy, where its origins are traditionally situated, and beyond; 3) in terms of relations between theory and practice; and 4) without necessarily respecting the disciplinary boundaries between them? In conjunction, what questions could be posed to facilitate this reassessment? Are there paradoxes inherent in the era that should be addressed? In turn, what might be further uncovered about the post-Tridentine era as fertile ground for more expansive models of patronage, production, and reception across the arts in this context? And how might all this impact the language scholars use to capture the roles, innovations, and/or tribulations of the arts during this era?

Organizer Prof. Leslie Korrick (Visual Art and Art History, York)

Schedule of Meetings & Readings

Meetings will be held at the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, Pratt 304, on the fourth Friday of the month (September-November and January-March) from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. A list of readings developed in tandem with participants’ research will follow.

Meeting 1 (22 September)

Meeting 2 (27 October)

Meeting 3 (24 November)

Meeting 4 (26 January)

Meeting 5 (23 February)

Meeting 6 (22 March)