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a particular expression of the hand, reached beyond themselves to human actors - some, in representing the carefully dictated movements of the liturgy, reached out to its lived performance; some, in representing the grasping hand of the monk, reached out to living religious. The play of visual allusion did not stop with images. The visual tropes of character that printed images attached to their representations - the belly to the monk, the glance to the nun, the hauteur to the pope - could attach to the persons of living human beings. That was their efficacy and their power.

Lutheran art

Lutherans commissioned paintings and sculpture for their churches, but those representations were no longer to be understood on a continuum of revelation: even if medieval representations of saints might survive within the churches, those images provided models of behaviour, not foci for the cult of saints. In both function within worship and in content, Lutheran images differed from Catholic.19 Lutheran images were, in Luther's own words, 'for the sake of simple folk', a part of a larger didactic enterprise. As such, they served along with catechisms to teach the fundamentals of Lutheran doctrine: the Ten Commandments, God as merciful Father, Christ's central salvific role, the Lord's Prayer, the nature and proper celebration of the sacraments. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Ten Commandments, in particular, but also the Lord's Prayer, were painted on boards that hung along the nave.

The first and most prolific of the early Lutheran painters, Cranach the Elder, also rendered in oil visualizations of fundamental tenets of Lutheran doctrine.20 In both printed image and in oil, he gave visual articulation to Luther's conceptions oflaw and grace, rendering their opposition allegorically. In a series of major altarpieces, he rendered the Lutheran formulations of the sacraments ofbaptism and communion. In the 'Reformation Altar', completed in 1547 for the church of Mary in Wittenberg, Cranach represented the three sacraments in three panels, left to right: baptism, communion, confession (Fig. 2). The representation ofbaptism made visible the infancy of the recipient, a simple font, and the presence of the community The representation of confession made visible its public and open character, with Luther's own

19 Martin Scharfe differentiated specific kinds ofProtestant images-biblicalhistory, divinity, saints and ideal Christian behaviour, sacred acts and history, and the ideal Christian life and death - each of which existed in a distinctive relationship to its viewer, and was intended to invoke different responses. Scharfe, Evangelische Andachtsbilder. See also Christensen, Art and the Reformation.

20 Thulin, Cranach Altare der Reformation; Hoffmann, Luther und die Folgenfur die Kunst.

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