Essay on Religious Artwork Manipulates Faith

Essay on Religious Artwork Manipulates Faith

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Religious Artwork: The Manipulator of Faith

Certain things in life speak louder than words. Although ironic, this is the basis of art. Throughout history, art has changed the way people perceive ideas, feel about ideas and even act towards certain ideas. Art has the innate power to evoke emotion in the public: both positive and negative. It’s this gift that makes art beautiful. Although there is always room for interpretation, the artist has a significant grasp on the viewer’s emotions. A painter is a skillful craftsman at forcing one to view things in thon’s way without the viewer even becoming aware of his manipulation. Unquestionably, this remarkable ability of art has been taken advantage of by institutions such as the Church; it occurs most often through times of crises such as the Counter Reformation.
Domenico Theotocopuli, 1541-1614, otherwise “known as ‘The Greek’—El Griego or El Greco — holds a high place amongst the worthies of Toledo” (Maxwell29). His native town is, thus his name, in Greece. Unfortunately though, there is not much evidence or documentation of his early years. For instance, who is biological parents are still remains a mystery to historians (El Greco Bio). On the other hand, El Greco’s later path to his artistic throne in Toledo is traceable to specific details.

In the 1560s, El Greco retired from Greece, where he was an icon-maker, to Venice— the beginning of his artistic training. In Venice El Greco falls under the influence of masters such as Titian and Tintoretto. A decade later, El Greco becomes acquainted with Michelangelo in Rome. He too influences El Greco’s artistic style but only to an extent where El Greco’s style is distinct. Subsequently, Domenico makes his last move of his caree...


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...es, the public is more prone to behave in a righteous manner. This occurs in our unconscious which functions as a “king of giant computer that quickly and quietly processes a lot of data” (Gladwell 11). Therefore, one is never even aware that thon is being manipulated. Whether or not this is a method of unethical brainwashing needs further research. What cannot be denied, however, is that the Church is a powerful institution with art as its weapon.


Works Cited

"El Greco." Art and Culture. 26 Sept. 2006 .

"El Greco Bio." ABC Gallery. 27 Sept. 2006 .

Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink. 1st ed. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005. 11.

Maxwell, William S. Stories of the Spanish Artists. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910. 29.

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