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The Edicts of Charles V by Jean August Hendrik Leys in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

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Baron Leys was regarded as Belgium's foremost artist in the mid 19th century. About 1851, he adopted a deliberately archaizing style resulting in part from a visit to Germany. This scene is set in the artist's native Antwerp, identifiable because of the famous church spire in the distance. Between 1520 and 1550, Charles V, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, issued 11 edicts making the practice of Protestantism a crime punishable by death. Antwerp served as a major center of learning and finance that had attracted many foreigners, especially Jews and Protestants.
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This picture is beautiful and intriguing but it calls out - at least to some viewers - to challenge Charles V's belief Catholics were right and Protestants (and perhaps) Jews were so wrong they should be put to death. How many people today think this kind of absolutism talk and thinking is the best human way to approach differing ideas?

Still, the picture is vibrant and intriguing and well worth viewing. It can be a vehicle for a conversation starter.
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Nice puzzle.

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