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The Jesuits and the Arts, 1540-1773, edited by John W. O’Malley SJ, and Gauvin Alexander Bailey

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—increasingly a subject of scholarly interest—comes spectacularly alive, with 476 full colour, high resolution images of Jesuit art works from around the world, many published here for the first time. The book’s twelve essays are written by leading specialists from Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Argentina, and the United States, and this English version has been greatly revised and expanded.

After John W. O’Malley’s introductory essay ‘The Cultural Mission of the Society of Jesus’, Giovanni Sale discusses the principles that guided the Jesuits in the design and construction of their churches and residences, and, 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. Richard Bösel next takes the reader on an architectural tour of Jesuit churches, chapels, schools, residences, and meeting halls throughout Europe. Gauvin Alexander Bailey demonstrates the influence of Italian painting on Jesuit art throughout Europe, and Heinz Pfeiffer discusses Jesuit iconography, 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 Jesuit 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. The volume concludes with T. Frank Kennedy on ‘The Jesuits and Music’.

hardback 496pp. 476 colour plates

Price: £36.00

About $47.55 or €40.28


ISBN: 978 0 916101 52 7

Publisher: St Joseph's University Press


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