In tandem with “Poussin and God,” this exhibition will highlight the iconophilia of papal Rome and the minor-key version of the French School, between 1580 and 1660.
The religious crisis of the 16th century brought with it a revival of the anti-image crusade of old. This iconophobia found its most unswerving expression among such radical Reformation thinkers as Andreas Carlstadt and Calvin. Beginning in the winter of 1522, it once again took the form of a virulent iconoclasm that would reach its height in France and the Netherlands during the 1560s.
At the end of the century, after a brief period of reaction, religious art underwent in Italy a recasting driven by a quest for purity and truthfulness. However, this was also the dawn of an unexpected renaissance, and the prelude to an unrivaled flowering of which this exhibition will highlight two opposite yet profoundly interconnected extremes: the triumphant iconophilia of papal Rome and the minor-key version of the French School. A contrast that raises yet again the issue of the meaning of the Christian love of images