Anti-clerical art

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’A Fine Point’ by Jehan Georges Vibert. Note the direction of the cardinal’s gaze and the sculpture to the young monk’s right.

Anti-clerical art is a genre of art portraying clergy, especially Roman Catholic clergy, in unflattering contexts. It was especially popular in France during the second half of the 19th century, at a time that the anti-clerical message suited the prevailing political mood. Typical paintings show cardinals in their bright red robes engaging in unseemly activities within their lavish private quarters.

Nineteenth and early twentieth century artists known for their anti-clerical art include Francesco Brunery, Georges Croegaert, Charles Édouard Delort, Jehan Georges Vibert, Jules Benoit-Levy and Eduardo Zamacois y Zabala. Masami Teraoka is among the contemporary painters producing anti-clerical art.

See also


  • Hook, Philip and Mark Poltimore, Popular 19th century painting, a dictionary of European genre painters, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd, 1985.

Examples of anti-clerical art

External links

Media related to Anti-clerical art at Wikimedia Commons

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