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The Power and the Glorification

Papal Pretensions and the Art of Propaganda in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

By Jan L. de Jong

Publication Year: 2013

Focusing on a turbulent time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, The Power and the Glorification considers how in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the papacy employed the visual arts to help reinforce Catholic power structures. All means of propaganda were deployed to counter the papacy’s eroding authority in the wake of the Great Schism of 1378 and a century later in response to the upheaval surrounding the Protestant Reformation. In the Vatican and elsewhere in Rome, extensive decorative cycles were commissioned to represent the strength of the Church and historical justifications for its supreme authority. Replicating the contemporary viewer’s experience is central to de Jong’s approach and he encourages readers to consider the works through fifteenth- and sixteenth-century eyes. De Jong argues that most visitors would likely have accepted (or been intended to accept) the pictures they saw at face value and in most cases would likely only had a limited knowledge of the historical events represented in the works. With that end in mind the painters’ advisors did their best to “manipulate” the viewer accordingly, and de Jong discusses their strategies and methods.

Published by: Penn State University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Table of Contents

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pp. 8-9

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Introduction: Empowerment and Interconnectivity: Toward a Feminist History of Utilitarian Philosophy

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pp. 1-32

The central figures in this book are all nineteenth-century utilitarians of one stripe or another. They also have in common the fact that they have been seen as feminist, although they do not all share the same type of feminist ...

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Chapter 1: Wheeler and Thompson: The Appeal and the Problem of Empowerment

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pp. 33-74

Anna Doyle Wheeler and William Thompson’s 1825 work, Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men, to Retain Them in Political, and thence in Civil and Domestic Slavery, is a radical ...

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Chapter 2: Catharine Beecher and Writing Philosophy for Women

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pp. 75-116

The next philosopher I wish to examine, Catharine Beecher, is an interesting case. Despite the fact that she was one of the most productive female philosophers of the nineteenth century, and it could be reasonably claimed that she was the ...

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Chapter 3: Frances Wright: Interconnectivity and Synthesis

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pp. 117-153

Ernestine Rose, speaking at the tenth National Woman’s Rights Convention in 1859, said, ‘‘Frances Wright was the first woman in this country [the United States] who spoke on the equality of the sexes. She had indeed a hard task ...

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Chapter 4: Tea and Sympathy with John Stuart Mill

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pp. 154-190

I now want to use the interpretive lens of the empowerment question, which is admittedly still in its embryonic stage, to examine the works of Western canonical philosophers who have been claimed as feminist rather than ...

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Conclusion and Next Steps

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pp. 191-202

This work was initiated by my interest in recapturing, evaluating, and interpreting forgotten or neglected historical works of feminist philosophy. In other areas of philosophy, such as ethics or epistemology, feminist philosophers have ...


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pp. 203-207


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pp. 209-215

Back Cover

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p. 225-225

E-ISBN-13: 9780271060927
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271050799
Print-ISBN-10: 0271050799

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 124
Publication Year: 2013

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Mural painting and decoration, Italian -- Italy -- Rome.
  • Mural painting and decoration, Renaissance -- Italy -- Rome.
  • Mural painting and decoration -- Political aspects -- Italy -- Rome.
  • Propaganda in art.
  • Popes -- Art patronage.
  • Art and society -- Italy -- Rome.
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