In devotional artworks created in Lutheran Germany around 1670, a new aesthetic designed to provoke emotional interaction with the image emerged that replaced the “emotionally distanced cold gaze” posited by scholars for Reformation art. The practice of including portraits of the intended users in the guise of participants or witnesses in the scenes functioned to arouse intense empathy in the viewers as they confronted their doubles. The paintings served the sorts of daily devotional activities promoted by the religious revival movements of the period, New Piety and Pietism.
The appearance of arts of forgetting during the golden age of mnemotechnics offers a unique perspective on the interaction between history, memory, and forgetting at a time of paradigmatic change. This article explores this interaction through Cornelius Agrippa’s De incertitudine et vanitate artium et scientiarum, a declamation calling for a return to simple faith and understanding. Drawing on the work of Umberto Eco and Paul Ricoeur, I propose that De incertitudine can be read as a rhetoric of extinction analogous to arts of forgetting.
A London divorce case from 1590 suggests that the early modern reception of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew would have been very mixed. With methods that paralleled those of Petruchio, Christopher Percy tried to “tame” his wife to force her to give up her estate and her jointure. While Petruchio tamed his shrew, Margery Percy, a remarried widow, resisted her husband’s efforts and successfully sued him for separation on the grounds of cruelty and adultery.
Although Lienhard Jost is recognized as a leading member of the “Strasbourg prophets” and an important influence on the Anabaptist leader Melchior Hoffman, Jost’s prophecies have been thought to be entirely lost. A copy of Jost’s prophecies was preserved in Vienna, however, and this newly rediscovered book provides a new source for early Anabaptism in Strasbourg and enables a thorough revision of Jost’s life and work, which have been subject to considerable uncertainty. Jost’s account of his life and visions documents the experience and mentality of an early modern peasant visionary.
This essay deals with rules and attitudes towards the Spanish succession crisis from 1580 to the extinction of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty in 1700. It argues that apart from succession laws, which were set down in the legal texts of the many different realms under Habsburg authority, attitudes and expectations created implicit rules for the succession. These attitudes and expectations have been distilled by analyzing testaments, representation of deceased relatives in the Escorial, and the behaviors toward royal children.
This article analyzes the reactions of Catholic laymen to a 1578 sodomy trial held in Ghent.The recently established Calvinist city council had accused a number of mendicants of the crime to slander their religious opponents.The lack of official response from the clergy has led to the assumption that the laity also remained silent in the face of the slurs.Remarkably, a considerable number of Catholic laymen passionately attempted to rehabilitate the friars through the popular narrative genre of city chronicles, the Memorieboeken, even though sodomy was an unmentionable sin.Furtherm