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#PoTW: Luther, death and anti-Popery

Luther

When: 16 May 2018, 6-7.30pm, reception from 7:30-8:30
Who: Institute of Historical Research
Where: Beveridge Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Starting with the first visual propaganda for the Reformation this lecture, in memory of Professor Eric Hobsbawm and hosted in collaboration with Birkbeck, University of London, explores anti-papalism and anti-monasticism in Lutheran art.

In particular, it examines the images that circulated with Luther’s late pamphlet Wider das Papsttum zu Rom. Their iconography was closely tied to the text; we know that Luther had a hand in their design, but they were sold separately.

Such images are not straightforwardly propagandist because they were so extreme that they would hardly have converted adherents of the old church. They were not meant literally, and they are full of riotous invention as well as bitter attack. Why were such images produced, and what can they tell us about Lutheran visual culture? More broadly, how can historians contribute to the study of visual culture?

Professor Lyndal Roper is a Fellow and Regius Professor of History at Oriel College, University of Oxford. She is the author of Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet, a New Statesman, Spectator, History Today, Guardian and Sunday Times Book of the Year.

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