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Discourse on Sacred and Profane Images

  • Gabriele Paleotti
    Introduction by Paolo Prodi
    Translated by William McCuaig

    In the wake of the Counter-Reformation, Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti, the archbishop of Bologna, wrote a remarkable treatise on art during a time when the Church feared rampant abuse in the arts. Translated into English here for the first time, Paleotti’s Discourse on Sacred and Profane Images argues that art should address a broad audience and explains the painter’s responsibility to his spectators. The Discourse is introduced by historian Paolo Prodi, who explains how—even if the archbishop did not succeed in reforming the arts—Paleotti’s treatise constituted one last synthesis of art as a reading of creation and salvation history, and “sacred” art as a vehicle of devotion.

    Gabriele Paleotti (1522–1597) was an Italian cardinal and archbishop of Bologna. Paolo Prodi is professor emeritus of modern history at the Università di Bologna, a member of the Accademia dei Lincei of Rome, and president of the Italian Giunta Storica Nazionale. William McCuaig is a translator living in Montreal and the author of Carlo Sigonio: The Changing World of the Late Renaissance (Princeton University Press, 1989).

    —Art Newspaper

    “[This book] will be an asset not only to scholars but to lay readers in the field of art history.”
    Steve Goddard’s History Wire

    368 pages
    7 x 10 inches
    11 b/w illustrations
    ISBN 978-1-60606-116-9

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: Getty Research Institute  
    Series: Texts & Documents