Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Art as political tool
The symbiosis of artistic expression, political power and affirmation of the principles of the Counter-Reformation varies to great extent throughout Europe.
The symbiosis of artistic expression, political power and affirmation of the principles of the Counter-Reformation varies to great extent throughout Europe, particularly in relation to the spread of the Baroque.
In Croatia, where the Jesuits arrived in 1606, maintaining close ties with Italian culture (together with the Pauline Fathers), the Protestant Reformation, although supported by a section of the nobility, never became deeply rooted. The Baroque style finally spread after the great victory in Vienna over the Turks (1683), who had occupied a large part of Croatia and Slavonia since the 15th century.
In Rome, the same perception of urban space, as well as the appearance of buildings and a new iconography in painting cycles embodied the expression of the reigning pontiff’s patronage and power. During the 17th century the city was transformed through the use of unusual visual perspective, which gave monuments new visual and symbolic meanings.
Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Pauline Chapel

1606–1615
Rome, Italy
Flaminio Ponzio (architect); Stefano Maderno; Silla da Viggiù; Giuseppe Cesari known as Cavalier d'Arpino; Guido Reni; Ludovico Cardi (known as il Cigoli)
The chapel devoted to papal burial follows the iconographic programme intended by Cardinal Cesare Caesar Baronius, a leading figure in the Counter-Reformation. Tight Baroque architecture unfolds around the ancient icon of the Madonna Salus Populi Romani, an example of the values of the early Church being recovered.