Document Type

Review (of Book, Film, Etc.)

Publication Date



Spanish religious art tends to be theatrical in nature. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, for example, the original setting of sculpted figures invariably emulated a stage in order to create a dramatic environment in which light, smells, and sounds were controlled for effect. Just consider the religious sculptures frequently paraded in processions or the statuary placed in chapels and niche-like recesses. Or think also of the dramatic paintings that functioned almost as backdrops for what amounted to the "staging" of the Catholic liturgy. Medium and message, thus, went hand in hand, a dependence that was made even stronger in artworks that, with unabashed easiness, depicted blatant flesh with tortured spirituality: if flesh caught the eye – one could easily infer – spirituality warned of its perils.


This review was originally published in Music in Art, available at



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.