Monday, January 7, 2013

"The Serpent and the Lamb"

Finished reading "The Serpent and the Lamb" last night, It is a biography of Cranach the great reformation painter. Great he was, and fascinating. The link above is to my review.
I was a fan of Cranach's before, I am a bigger fan now. Have to say, I'm kind of a fan of Steve Ozment now too, I'll be looking for more of his journal articles and so on from here on out. Great historian. Reading this book solidified somethings that I had only thought previously, and widened my perception of the reformation in other ways. As much as I knew of it as a cultural and political phenomenon as well as a religious one. I now see that the cultural and political ramifications were much greater than I previously supposed. And his nudes were not merely side work, but were as important to communicating the reformation ethos as were any broadside lampooning the pope. They were in a sense an attack on the prudishness of the Roman Catholic theology, and at the same time an attack on the porn which was the inevitable result of such prudishness,prudishness actually being a bigger problem than porn itself. In the end both prudishness and porn devalue sex, and in turn tend to devalue women. The Cranach nude, and he was known as "The King of the Nudes" for his proficiency at it could depict a woman in the buff in such a way as to say, here is the essence of a chaste christian woman, free, strong, and devout. They are quite captivating.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the thoughtful review of the Cranach book! Going to have to track that down since I would love to explore that history in more depth. Though I'm a "quiet" reader who rarely comments, from time to time I just want to say "thank you" for these "fruits" from your morning study.

- Dennis

Bror Erickson said...

Thanks Dennis!