Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Beeldenstorm in Dutch, roughly translatable to "statue storm", or Bildersturm in German ("image storm"), also the Iconoclastic Fury, is a term used for outbreaks of destruction of religious images that occurred in Europe in the 16th century. During these spates of iconoclasm, Catholic art and many forms of church fittings and decoration were destroyed in unofficial or mob actions by nominally Calvinist Protestant crowds as part of the Protestant Reformation. Most of the destruction was of art in churches and public places. The Dutch term specifically refers to the wave of disorderly attacks in the summer of 1566 that spread rapidly through the Low Countries from south to north, but similar outbreaks of iconoclasm took place in other parts of Europe, especially in Switzerland and the Holy Roman Empire (1522–66), Scotland (1559) England (1535 onwards) and France during the French Wars of Religion.