Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Schools: ISB, HEC, Said
, given: 28
Need help : How to read passages of this type. [#permalink]
16 Mar 2012, 03:22
I have solved Gmat club verbal test, then I was reviewing it. I have seen that I have big trouble understanding the passage. Specailly look at the first sentence it is so long and convuted. Do you guys have any recommendations on how to read this type of text effectively. Specially if there are long sentences such as first sentence of this passage.
A recent cultural history of the art and architecture of the European Baroque Period, which spanned roughly the entire seventeenth century, uses well-known works to sketch a fresh and surprising perspective on the impact of these works on the imaginations of their original viewers. The author, an emeritus professor at an Ohio university, does not bother to challenge the customary list of Baroque characteristics–opulence, grandeur, movement, large scale, emotion, bold colors, gold–but students of art history, far from entertaining suspicions of insufficient academic rigor due to this oversight, will ultimately find themselves grateful to be left with this piece of familiar ground.
Although the first chapter is spent detailing the debt owed by Baroque style to the theology of the Roman Catholic Church, discussion of the devotional uses of religious pieces thereafter is strictly limited. The prime goal of the following chapters is to define Baroque art’s function within the power structure of the sixteenth century Church in such a way as to make religious devotion beside the point. More specifically, the author is concerned with the role art played in re-centralizing the Church’s power in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, as well as with the significance of the Council of Trent, during which, as part of a cohesive opposition to groups of believers who had broken away, the practice of using art objects as aids to religious devotion was encouraged and codified.
From the author’s perspective, then, the Church’s advocacy of grand and ornate pieces of religious art served the very practical purpose of reminding the faithful that real power was to be found within the Church. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, for example, with its almost unimaginatively lofty ceilings, marble floors, and special chapels, solidified the Church’s power by inspiring the viewer’s awe. Likewise, paintings and sculptures produced by most of the period’s Church-sponsored artists depicted human figures, most often saints or martyrs, with a startling realism intended to emphasize presence and immediacy.