Chapter

Introduction

Evonne Levy

in Propaganda and the Jesuit Baroque

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780520233577
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928633 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233577.003.0001
Introduction

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When faced with Albert Speer's Reichskanzlei or Paul Ludwig Troost's Haus der Deutschen Kunst in Munich, few would deny that architecture functioned as a powerful form of propaganda in the Third Reich. Indeed, there is ample evidence that although Adolf Hitler had a paltry knowledge of architecture, he did understand the medium as a vital form of propaganda. Did Hitler, the foremost practitioner of the propaganda arts in the twentieth century, consider the “joy of the senses” that he experienced in Jesuit architecture as a model for his own architectural program? Jesuit architecture specifically and the Catholic Baroque in general have often been considered an art of propaganda. This book looks at an outdated concept grounded in the art historical literature on the so-called Jesuit Style dating back to the 1840s. It applies the modern sense of propaganda to a key realm of Baroque representation, the art and architecture of the Jesuit order, with a higher degree of self-consciousness. The Jesuits, it argues, are a key to the problematic historiography of the Baroque.

Keywords: Third Reich; Adolf Hitler; Jesuit architecture; art; Jesuits; self-consciousness; Jesuit Style; propaganda; Catholic Baroque; historiography

Chapter.  4919 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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