Utrecht, 1572


In 1517, a German professor of theology named Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses — which objected to various practices of the Catholic Church — to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Soon after, the Iconoclastic Fury swept across much of Europe, justified by the belief that statues in a house of God were idolatrous images which must be destroyed. One example is St. Martin’s Cathedral in Utrecht in the Netherlands, where many of the ornaments on both the exterior and interior of the cathedral were destroyed.

Sam Durant, Utrecht, 1572 (2018), Graphite on paper, 50.2 x 133.7 cm, © Sam Durant, Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo. Photo: Makenzie Goodman