Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2005
Book ID: 23
426 pages + preface, bibliography, and index | 12.75 x 9.25 inches | 475 color images
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The Jesuits and the Arts, 1540&1773 is the first survey ever published of the Jesuits' global artistic enterprise in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, from the foundation of the Society of Jesus in 1540 to its suppression in 1773. Here the Jesuits' extraordinary commitment to the arts — the subject of a groundswell of recent scholarly work — comes spectacularly alive, with 476 full color, high resolution images of Jesuit buildings, paintings, sculpture, theatrical sets, and music from around the globe, many of them published here for the first time. No other book dealing with this aspect of the Jesuits' activities is as comprehensive or as profusely illustrated. Authors of the twelve essays are leading specialists from Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Argentina, and the United States; some of them are published here in English for the first time.
After John W. O'Malley's introductory essay "The Cultural Mission of the Society of Jesus," Giovanni Sale discusses first the principles that guided the Jesuits in design and construction of their churches and residences, and then, in a second essay, the tension between the Jesuits and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, the imperious patron of their most important church, the Gesù in Rome. With a dazzling command of his material, Richard Bösel next takes the reader on an architectural tour of Jesuit churches, chapels, schools, residences, and meeting halls in Europe, spanning the Continent from France to Slovakia, from Spain to Poland and Lithuania, and from Rome to Antwerp. Gauvin Alexander Bailey leads a similar tour to show the influence of Italian painting on Jesuit art throughout Europe, after which Heinz Pfeiffer discusses Jesuit iconography and, especially, the often-frustrating efforts of the Jesuits to obtain a "true" portrait of Saint Ignatius. Marcello Fagiolo presents one of the least known but most fascinating aspects of Jesuit engagement with the arts: the construction of elaborate temporary "stages" in their churches for the celebration of the Eucharistic devotion of the "Forty Hours."
The volume takes leave of Europe with a theological-historical essay by Philippe Lécrivain on the Jesuit missions in Paraguay and China, which is followed by Ramón Gutiérrez and Graciela Maria Viñuales on the Jesuits' artistic and architectural legacy in Spanish America. Bailey returns with an essay on Jesuit art in Asia and another on Jesuit art in North America, specifically New France and Maryland. The volume concludes with T. Frank Kennedy on "The Jesuits and Music."
Although much of this volume first appeared in Italian, French, and Spanish in a version edited by Giovanni Sale in 2003, the English-language version has further edited and updated many of the chapters (some of them radically), added the chapter on the Jesuits in North America, included many new color images, greatly expanded the captions, and brought up to date and amplified the bibliographies. In many significant ways, The Jesuits and the Arts, 1540&1773 is a new book. Because of generous subventions toward publication, Saint Joseph's University Press is able to offer this sumptuous volume at an affordable price.
Editor John W. O'Malley, S.J., is Distinguished Professor of Church History at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A specialist in the religious culture of early modern Europe, he is Past President of the American Catholic Historical Association and of the Renaissance Society of America, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, member of the American Philosophical Society, and Fellow of the Accademia di San Carlo, Ambrosian Library, Milan. In 2002 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Italian Historical Studies and in 2005 the corresponding award from the Renaissance Society of America. His latest book is Four Cultures of the West (Harvard, 2004).
Editor Gauvin Alexander Bailey is Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. A specialist in Jesuit art patronage in Renaissance and Baroque Italy, Latin America, and Asia, he has written over fifty articles and authored or co-authored six books on the subject, including his Art on the Jesuit Missions in Asia and Latin America (1999), winner of the Bainton Prize in Art History, Between Renaissance and Baroque: Jesuit Art in Rome, 1565-1610 (2003), and Art of Colonial Latin America (2005). He is currently working on a new book entitled Andean Forms and Symbolism in the "Mestizo Style" Architecture of Colonial Peru. Bailey has been a fellow at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and Smithsonian Institution.
Giovanni Sale, S.J., is director of the Jesuit Historical Institute in Rome. He is also a member of the editorial board of La Civiltà Cattolica and teaches contemporary church history at the Pontifical Gregorian University, from which he received his doctorate in ecclesiastical history. He has published numerous articles in a variety of journals, as well as authored or edited more than a half&dozen books, including Pauperismo architettonico e architettura gesuitica (2001); La Civiltà Cattolica nella crisi modernista (2001); Dalla Monarchia alla Repubblica (2002); Hitler, la Santa Sede e gli ebrei (2004); De Gasperi, gli USA e il Vaticano all´inizio della guerra fredda (2005); Popolari e destra cattolica al tempo di Benedetto XV (2005).
"The book's scholarship is more than matched by the full-color images that crowd every page. Quite simply, this is one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. It continues the new tradition of richly made books from St. Joseph's University Press, which published another lovely book in 2002 entitled Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia, whose prosaic title belies the book's depth of scholarship and beauty of its pages."
James Martin, S.J., America
"St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia deserves kudos for revamping this volume on Jesuit art, which was published in French, Italian, and Spanish editions in 2004. Brilliantly reproduced with color illustrations, this is a feast for both the eye and the mind, made all the more appealing by its modest price. […] John O'Malley, the doyen of Jesuit studies in this country, explains how the original Jesuits ended up with such a deep artistic heritage. […] Jesuits and the Arts includes excellent chapters on the society's original churches in Rome, the Gesù and Sant'Ignazio […] There are excellent pages on the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, and ample illustrations of the emerging devotions of the 'Forty Hours' and to the Sacred Heart. […] Jesuits and the Arts also pays fair attention to Jesuit drama, and ends with an excellent essay on the Jesuits and music. This book will interest those who love the arts, and those fascinated by the Catholic experience as refracted through the charism of the followers of Ignatius of Loyola."
Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal
"This lavishly illustrated volume contains a survey of the Jesuits' artistic efforts and accomplishments in Europe, Asia, and the Americas from the foundation of the Society in 1540 until its suppression in 1773. […] This handsome volume, offered at a very affordable price, concludes with bibliographical references for each chapter and a detailed index."
R. Kevin Seasoltz, O.S.B., Worship
"This encyclopedic volume contains an almost world-wide survey of the artistic enterprise of the Society of Jesus, for its inception in 1540 to its suppression in 1773; and it is essential reading for anyone working on the arts of this period. […] It is superbly illustrated, in colour, and contains 184 new images, some of which are published here for the first time. […] Collectively these essays are a monumental testimony to Ignatius' caveat that the Society's 'way of proceeding' be carried out 'as will seem best according to places, persons, and circumstances.' The ability of the Society to receive the inspirations of others and to assimilate local customs is an important counterbalance to the view expressed in other recent scholarship […] that the purpose of imagery adopted by the Society was essentially 'to create subjects' and that the control of this imagery was in an important sense mono-directional."
Jane Eade, The Way
"Turning to The Jesuits and the Arts, one's very senses are at first overwhelmed by variety and abundance. This is a direct consequence of the volume's handsome size and format together with the sheer number of fabulously reproduced color illustrations. […] As authors of standard works on, respectively, the early history of the Jesuits and the global artistic patronage of the Order before its suppression, O'Malley and Bailey are very well placed to give coherence to the volume. […] Although this volume has its origins as an Italian book: Ignazio e l'arte dei Gesuiti (2003), edited by Giovanni Sale, the changes and additions to this translation make it effectively a new one. Many of the chapters have been updated, with a pioneering one added by Bailey on North America. In addition, there are 184 new images in respect of the Italian original and both the captions and the bibliography have been expanded and revised. The result represents, without any shadow of doubt, a triumphantly successful tour d'horizon of both the world-wide scope and protean nature of the Jesuit artistic enterprise, which deserves to become a fundamental point of reference not only for interested scholars but also for the general reader (footnotes have been eschewed and references kept to impressively up-to-date chapter-by-chapter bibliographies at the end of the volume)."
Simon Ditchfield, Catholic Historical Review
"Meticulously compiled and deftly edited, […] The Jesuits and the Arts: 1540-1773 is a beautifully illustrated historical survey of the Jesuits' artistic enterprise in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia from the foundation of the Society of Jesus in 1540 to its suppression in 1773. […] An important and core addition to academic library Art History and Jesuit Studies reference collections, The Jesuits and the Arts: 1540-1773 is an impressive compendium of erudite scholarship that is as accessible to the non-specialist general reader with an interest in art history, as it is of seminal value to students of Jesuit history and their influence on Catholic church art and architecture."
"This book is a translation and expansion of a 2003 compendium entitled Ignazio e l'Arte dei Gesuiti. The editors of the new volume have improved on the original by adding copious illustrations and a section on Jesuit activity in North America. […] this volume is a great resource. Strung together, the essays constitute a comprehensive survey of the topic. The publisher was generous with the number of illustrations, giving researchers, teachers, and students a ready visual corpus with which to work. […] The Jesuits and the Arts is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in looking at the global activity of the Jesuits, the early modern period's greatest communicators."
James G. Harper, Renaissance Quarterly
"First, this is a lavish volume with large format pages, bristling with high quality color illustrations. The breadth of material in architecture, stage design, biography, past and present spirituality, music, painting, sculpture, and printmaking is enormous. The visual impact of the volume speaks more eloquently than any text to demonstrate the interrelated elements of Jesuit culture."
Virginia Chieffo Raguin, American Catholic Studies
"The art and culture of the Jesuits has been enjoying a scholarly boom during the past decade, and much of it has been sparked by the work of the two editors of this volume. […] Now St. Joseph's University Press offers what could be a primer with essays by these same authorities and nine others in a lavishly produced, richly illustrated volume, whose up-to-date bibliography is a guide for any further research. […] In short, this is a treasure trove for art historians, both in its authoritative essays, luxurious color illustrations of often unfamiliar sites and objects, and an ample current bibliography. The importance of the Jesuit contributions to the arts had already been strongly reasserted by O'Malley and Bailey, but their new, single-volume survey provides both a summa and a definitive reference point."
Larry Silver, Sixteenth Century Journal
"In the context of the ever-increasing interest in the influence of the Bible on the arts, this is a most timely and really superb contribution. […] The book has very many features to commend itself: first, the editors and the Order are to be congratulated for their imagination in bringing this book into existence — there is a very real need for more books of this kind that celebrate the unique and unsurpassable contribution of the Catholic Church to the arts, especially the religious orders. […] It is very lavishly illustrated. […] But most of all, one gets the impression that this is the most authoritatively edited book by two of the most eminent scholars in North America […] It really is a superb publication."
Martin O'Kane , Scripture Bulletin
"The Jesuits and the Arts is a big, beautiful and useful book. In 475 lushly illustrated pages, its eleven contributors chronicle and analyze the role of image and imagination in Jesuit preaching, teaching, and missionary activities before the Society's suppression in 1773. […] The book itself is a technicolor spectacle. […] Carmen Croce and the staff at St. Joseph's University Press are to be commended for designing an elegant and sumptuous volume worthy of the tradition it celebrates."
Thomas Lucas, S.J., Conversations