Ut pictura non poesis: Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda and the Construction of Memory

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ignacio Lopez Alemany, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Director of Graduate Studies (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Painting and literature in Early Modern Spain were powerful tools used to educate the population in a theocratic and absolutist ideology. Although the resolutions of the Council of Trent did not create a new style, they did provide a corpus of rules that shaped the artistic and literary production of the Catholic nations. Among the most important consequences of these resolutions may have been the necessity of controlling the different expressions of human creativity in order to maintain the country's dominant ideology. The next logical step for art and literature was to break with the intellectual elitism of the Renaissance and Mannerism in order to become more appealing to the senses of the population (Portús 21). Spain, the champion of the Catholic Reformation, developed a theory of the art of painting based on its "usefulness" in narrating stories to the faithful using strategies such as compositio loci or in illustrating complicated concepts with the rhetorical help of the demonstratio ad oculos. The seductive power of images was considered key to teaching the appropriate behaviors. (1) Francisco Pacheco established this importance in his Arte de la pintura (1649), in which he considers the aim of the Christian painter to "persuadir al pueblo, y llevarlo, por medio de la pintura, a abrazar alguna cosa conveniente a la religión" (I, 11; 252).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Painting, Literature, Early Modern Spain, Literary Criticism

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