"Wybrałem cię spośród ludu"
MARCIN WISLOCKI (University of Wroclaw) / "I chose you from the crowd". Remarks on interrelations between power, religion and devotion in the Lutheran art circa 1600 Interrelation between power and religion in the visual arts during the confessionalization era was intensively discussed during the last decades. However, this issue still requires new approaches and studies. The paper examines a wide range of possible relations between authority and faith, that may have been encoded in an
... l work of art. The silver altarpiece from Darlowo/Rügenwalde (1606–1616), a splendid commission by duke Philip II of Pomerania-Stettin (1606–1618), serves as the object of my analyses. In order to explain the significance of the artwork, a complex network of symbolic connections between ideas transmitted in different commissions by Philip II is taken into account. For that reason, various media, including emblem books, illustrations in occasional prints, coins etc., as well as writings by clergymen in the milieu of the ruler, are considered. On the one hand, the content of the altarpiece reveals a comprehensive strategy undertaken by the duke in order to express a very concrete ethos of a Protestant sovereign. On the other, that ethos interferes with the tendencies within the Lutheran theology and devotion of that time. First of all, it is argued that the biblical scenes within the program (with the Adoration of the Magi in its centre) may be interpreted at different levels, among others in the context of various aspects of the self-representation of the sovereign, as well as in the context of the so-called heart-devotion (Herzfrömmigkeit), strongly influenced by mystically coloured late medieval tradition and resulting in a new quality of Passion imagery. Significantly, a whole variety of inspiration sources for the program cross confessional boundaries and we may ascertain analogies to commissions by Catholic rulers of those days. However, even though similar concepts were applied by both confessions, the ultimate meanin [...]