There are various political and economic elements affected an ongoing growth of the arts.

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Mr. Nont Armarttasn                ID 4506640012

There are various political and economic elements affected an ongoing growth of the arts. It was first developed in terms of religious purpose, to beautify the world. Therefore, in changes of time, the center of art has moved from place to place. The Renaissance period was flourished in Rome during the 16th century, as a result of the rebirth of ancient Greek and Roman mythology. In the early 16th century, there is a movement called the “Protestant Reformation”, which caused the division of the Europe into a Catholic and Protestant, as a result; there are great contrasts in terms of art style and the lives of artists between the Southern Catholics and the Northern Protestants. The Northern Europe was most greatly affected, and many of the artists during the 17th and 18th century were experienced in a harsh life.

With doubts in the church, Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, established and led the group of ‘Protestant Reformation’ in 1517. He believed that an excessive amount of money has been used in arts especially at the cathedral of St. Peter’s. To make art costs expenditure; the church was selling  ‘indulgence’ to the people. Indulgences were granted by the pope to forgive individual sinners not their sins, but the temporal punishment applied to those sins. It had become a big business for the corrupted church. The breakthrough of the reform had a great impact on the arts of the western world. The Protestant initiated new values, promoting the Protestant work ethics of hard working. They became more independent. Hence, they could practice and study new profound knowledge like mathematics and science more liberally. They do not have to afraid of the power of the church anymore.

The Protestant Reformation in the Northern countries, the center of art in the Northern Europe shifted to particularly in Holland and it had a ripple effect throughout many artists. Previously, the artist used to be sponsored by the churches, but now they faced a real crisis as a result of this reform. The Protestant objects like pictures or statues of saints in the church are considered as a sign of “Popish idolatry” (Gombrich 374). Religious arts were considered and symbolized the corruption of the churches and the popes. As a result, new kinds of paintings were established during the 17th and 18th century. Northern European paintings had to consist of secular subjects such as portraits, landscapes and scenes from everyday life to attract the Protestant customers. Thus, numerous painters were deeply in great debts and die of poverty, they have to sell their works at the market places. Contrasting with the Southern European artist who were make king a wealthy fortune, the Northern are striving for living.

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During the 17th century, the center of art is situated in Holland; therefore these Dutch artists have to rely on the ‘genre painting’ because the Northern citizens were essentially middle class and predominantly Protestant. These people were likely to be attracted by simple, realistic and directly attach elements. The frameworks were in much smaller scale if we compared to the Southern artists. The works of Jan Vermeer (1932-1675) and Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606-1669) are best example in the way of painting in small canvas to fit the demand of the market. It was impossible for them to paint in massive canvas ...

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