RMIT Year 3, Semester 1, Jewellery #4

9 11 2012

Third year, first semester, Jewellery #4: Ring for a Priest

The fourth piece in this group is: ‘Ring for Priest, Martin, 1522′.

Made for: Martin Luther (1483 – 1546).

In the time of Matthäus and Barbara, religion was contentious, due to Martin Luther splitting the Germans – Catholics against Protestants. 

Martin Luther is perhaps one of the most important and controversial priests in history.  He opposed what he saw as the excessive financial greed of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the offering of sacramental rites for money.  For him, ‘worldly luxuries and Christian piety were totally incompatible’, and the individual had the ability to have their own relationship with God – the theology of Grace.

Premise:  A ring for Martin Luther would emphasise the individual’s inner grace.  The materials would not be luxurious, but natural.  The wood in these pieces is to be worn around the gold ring – the gold representing the inner soul, and the wood the human body.  The outer ring also references the wood of the door on which Luther hammered his theology leading to the Reformation, and the cross of Christ.

Martin Luther, portrait by Cranach, 1522; Schade, Werner. Cranach: a Family of Master Painters, GP Putnam’s Sons, NY, 1980

The thin rings are made of simple brass and have been engraved with “GRACE” on the inside. They fit inside the wooden rings.

group of rings for Martin; image not to be reproduced without permission

detail; image not to be reproduced without permission

… last post in this series: RMIT Year 3, Semester 1, Jewellery #3
… see more projects from RMIT Year 3 here


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