Compare and Contrast Two Prints on Betryal of Christ

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Mara Mayora
Professor Pappas
ARTH 22
Term Paper: Comparing Two Depictions of the Betrayal of Christ and the effects of the Protestant Reformation 2/15/13

Betrayal of Christ by Albrecht Durer, 1508
Betrayal of Christ by Lucas van Leyden, made in 1521.

With the rise of the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century, many artists found themselves either supporting Protestant or Catholic religious belief. It was during this period that visual imagery was being challenged greatly by influential figures like Martin Luther who believed that art in religion should be obsolete. Including this came along the challenges of the Catholic Church and its structure’s stray from focusing on the salvation of its followers. It was this Reformation that caught the attention of artists who agreed with this belief. For instance, artists like Albrecht Durer, found themselves supporting and sympathizing with this new reformation, by including references in their artwork. Two artists who began to explore printmaking in this time were Albrecht Durer and Lucas van Leyden. With the invention of the printing press, artist found positives in distribution; printmaking being cheap and efficient. With this they were able to create two prints of the same subject matter with different details enlightening the viewer of artistic differences at this time. Both artists share very similar qualities in their work: visual composition, because of societal differences.

Protestant Reformation commenced in the early 16th century, and rooted on its longstanding developing dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church leadership. The Church of Rome’s hierarchy stood as a hindrance for those millions of people who searched for a religious experience and were unsatisfied with the way things were going. What made the faithful unsatisfied with their religious institution was due to the awareness that the Roman popes were more concerned with temporal power and material wealth contrary to the...
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