How Christianity Has Developed As Exhibited By Van Der Wyden's Seven Sacriments And Cranach Weimer'd Alterpiece

951 words - 4 pages

Christianity has developed greatly since its beginning. Martin Luther did not mean for it to happen when he posted his 95 Theses, but did want the reform that it brought, this brought on the reformation and many changes within the church. The change in style is exhibited in the two paintings, Van der Weyden’s Seven Sacraments and Cranach’s Weimar Altarpiece. Through examination and readings one could conjecture that the changes brought by reformation put more emphasis on faith and grace rather than the power of the leadership of the church.
The Seven Sacraments by Rogier van der Weyden was commissioned for use in a Netherlands church, it is considered a triptych, or 3 paneled painting for ...view middle of the document...

The idea of offering tokens of indulgence for penance was taken to its full advantage, for example, Pope Leo X authorized the sale of indulgences and the hiring of collectors because he wanted funds to complete the building of St. Peter’s Basilica. Rather than spreading the word of the Lord the way intended they skewed much of the word, partially because the people did not have access to it in their own language, and used it for their own benefit. The corruption inside the leadership of the church was a main source for Martin Luther’s frustration, but he did not act on this, but rather “Luther claimed that what distinguished him from previous reformers was that while they attacked corruption in the life of the church, he went to the theological root of the problem—the perversion of the church’s doctrine of redemption and grace” (Encyclopedia Britannica).
The second painting the Weimar Altarpiece, was started by Lucas Cranach and finished by his son Lucas Cranach the Younger. The piece differs and is significant because of that, it shows Christ on the cross outside of the church and the blood spurting from his rib is landing on a head of the church. The message here is that the church, especially those in power, are not intermediators of the faith, but more precisely they are there to nurture and help understand the faith. There is also a man stepping on a skeleton and a devil looking creature, he appears to be stabbing the creature. This could be representative of the idea that through the gift of faith one should not fear purgatory, death, the devil, but instead focus on getting to heaven and that did not necessarily mean bowing down to the commands of the church. Luther quotes “After the devil himself, there is no worse...

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