Reviews of 'The Power and The Glorification'

    Pers / media: Expert CommentPopular


     “This book sheds a powerful light on the great historical frescoes of High Renaissance Rome. Jan de Jong dwells on the historical situation of the popes, the meanings of history in Renaissance Europe, and the responses of contemporary viewers to these paintings. He teaches us how to see these grand and fascinating works as they were meant to be seen—and, at the same time, suggests some of the reasons why they did not have their full intended effects.”

      —Anthony Grafton, Princeton University


     “Jan de Jong presents us with the first systematic study of the genre of political propaganda, invented in the sixteenth century. The author shows how the papacy, under pressure from religious and secular rivals, honed and fashioned the message of its narratives to present an image broadcasting its empyrean status. The pope’s authority was underscored by showing the emperor and kings kissing his foot. His right to rule the Papal States was justified by depicting Constantine making a gift to Pope Sylvester of the lands of his western empire. The role of the pope as adjudicator and peacemaker was authenticated by representing Paul III brokering the peace between Charles V and Francis I—even if that fragile treaty lasted only a handful of years. The political propaganda pioneered in the projects studied here provided a model followed by the courts of Europe up to and beyond Napoleon’s. De Jong gives us a fresh and vivid account, some of it based on material hardly studied before.”

     —Marcia Hall, Temple University


     “By the middle of the fifteenth century, the popes had firmly re-established themselves in Rome, after long years of exile, schism and instability. Their subsequent renovation of the once-great city recast Rome as the embodiment of a renewed Apostolic Church, built upon centuries of tradition, continuity and divine sanction. And yet, as Jan L. de Jong argues in this insightful and beautifully illustrated book, the unprecedented expansion of papal patronage in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries took place at a time when the popes’ authority was being seriously questioned—by conciliarism, foreign invasions, the rise of nation states and ultimately the Reformation.”

     —Dorigen Caldwell, Burlington Magazine


     “This engaging publication by de Jong offers a broad look at the way certain images were used as papal propaganda during the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy. This was a time when the church was presented with extreme challenges both from within and from secular forces. The book offers five case studies of artistic responses in a rough chronological sequence: the decoration in the Castel Sant’Angelo, the Conservators’ Palace on the Capitoline Hill, the Hall of Constantine in the Vatican, the Farnese Palace in Caprarola, and the Vatican’s Sala Regia. The unifying theme among all these cycles is the use of visual propaganda to exalt the status and significance of the papacy and promote its claims of supreme authority within the church. . . . Since many of these decorative cycles are relatively understudied, the book provides a welcome contribution to their study. It is well illustrated, with solid notes and index and useful scholarly appendixes.”

     —A. V. Coonin, Choice


     More information on the website of Penn State University Press












    • TitelReviews of 'The Power and The Glorification'
      Release datum28/04/2015
      PersonenJan L. de Jong