Public lecture by Dr Susanne Meurer

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Luther’s Image and the First Media War

A public lecture by Dr Susanne Meurer, lecturer in Art History, School of Design, UWA

Martin Luther was the media superstar of his time. Thousands of painted and printed portraits of Luther were issued particularly during the early years of the Reformation. Some were even signed by Luther in the first recorded instance of a celebrity sending out autographed portraits. These likenesses did not simply chronicle Luther’s life, they created his image - as a doctor of the Church, as a divinely inspired prophet, as a heroic outlaw, or (in the hands of Luther’s adversaries) as a devilish miscreant.

This lecture explored how these portraits both responded to and boosted Martin Luther’s importance to the success of the Reformation, as they lent a face to the cause and allowed wider audiences to follow the fate of a charismatic figurehead.

Susanne Meurer  is a lecturer in Art History at UWA. Her research interests are art historiography, prints and printmaking, Northern Renaissance and Baroque. Her most recent publication is “Aus aller Herren Länder” – Die Künstler der Teutschen Academie von Joachim von Sandrart, ed. by Susanne Meurer, Anna Schreurs, Lucia Simonato, Brepols 2015.

About this Series - Luther's Reformation at 500

On the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, this UWA Institute of Advanced Studies - Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies Lecture Series reconsiders the legacy of Martin Luther, who in 1517 published Ninety-Five Theses criticising the Church's sale of indulgences. From diverse historical perspectives, UWA researchers tackle key issues regarding Luther's life, his thought, and his significance for the momentous changes that Europe underwent during his lifetime.

Talks in this series 

8 August - Luther's Image and the First Media War. Speaker: Dr Susanne Meurer, School of Design, UWA

12 September - Luther and the Devil. Speaker: Professor Jacqueline Van Gent, School of Humanities, UWA

31 October - Luther’s 95 Theses: Myth, Memory, and the Making of History. Speaker: Dr Kirk Essary, School of Humanities, UWA