A perennial Heart: The organ as a Catholic and Protestant visual motif in the culture and devotion of New Spain, the Netherlands and Germany in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

Activity: Examination, teaching and supervisionSupervision and examination of PhD students of the UGAcademic


The research asks how the visual motif of the heart was used by dissimilar religious agents in two contrasting cultural and political contexts: Roman Catholic visual culture and devotional practice fostered, especially, by the Society of Jesus in the Viceroyalty of New Spain in the eighteenth century; and images of the heart in Protestant visual culture in the Netherlands and Germany in the seventeenth century, and in the German Protestant mystical tradition, represented by Jacob Böhme. The study of this motif allows us to analyse the similarities and differences in the perception and representation of the individual’s role in relation to the divine in the two institutional and cultural contexts. The study will focus on a concrete corpus of images, chosen according to a common denominator among the religious agents to be studied, namely the debate concerning the Eucharist and its relationship to the visual medium and the motif of the heart.

Because of the ways in which images express and transform currents in religious thought, thus providing light to unforeseen connections and discussions that would hardly have been inferred from written sources, the study argues that they are crucial to carry out a fruitful analysis of the devotional, ritual, and spiritual lived history of Christianity.
Period1-Sept-2018 → …
Examination held at
Degree of RecognitionInternational