A Printed Icon in Early Modern Italy by Lisa Pon

By Lisa Pon

In 1428, a devastating hearth destroyed a schoolhouse within the northern Italian urban of Forlì, leaving just a woodcut of the Madonna and baby that have been tacked to the study room wall. the folks of Forlì carried that print - referred to now because the Madonna of the fireplace - into their cathedral, the place centuries later a brand new chapel used to be equipped to enshrine it. during this ebook, Lisa Pon considers a cascade of moments within the Madonna of the Fire's cultural biography: whilst ink was once inspired onto paper at a now-unknown date; while that sheet was once well-known by way of Forlì's humans as outstanding; while it used to be enshrined in numerous tabernacles and chapels within the cathedral; whilst it or certainly one of its copies was once - and nonetheless is - carried in procession. In doing so, Pon deals an scan in paintings old inquiry that spans greater than 3 centuries of creating, remaking, and renewal.

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14, before conservation. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles the exchange by painting in a recipient. 107 In the sixteenth century, the Getty picture itself had a small recumbent figure of Jesus painted in oils below Mary’s outstretched hand, some two centuries after Daddi had completed the painting (Fig. 108 An icon’s awkward composition can even indicate to its pious viewers its miraculous nature. ” The miracle legend of that icon explains the indeed odd posture of the figures, with the swaddled Jesus balanced precariously between Mary’s knees: the enthroned Madonna had been holding her Child but when an earthquake struck unexpectedly, she dropped him into her lap in order to clasp her hands in prayer.

91 The motif of pulling at Mary’s neckline begins to appear in late thirteenth-century paintings of the Madonna and Child made in Florence and Lucca, and in the mid–fourteenth century, occurs repeatedly in paintings by artists such as Bernardo Daddi and his workshop (Fig. 8, ca. 1335–40), Jacopo del Casentino (ca. 1340), and Ambrogio Lorenzetti (Fig. 9, ca. 92 A related gesture, with Jesus extending his left arm to hold the edge of his mother’s robe, appears in a painting by Paolo Veneziano from around 1340, which also shares with the Madonna of the Fire the distinctive trefoil pointed crown on Mary’s head as well as the Child’s position on the left side of the picture (Fig.

The Madonna of the Fire also has parallels to much smaller objects: for example, its partitioning of the pictorial space is similar to the five-piece assemblages of Byzantine ivory plaques that were used in Europe between the tenth and fifteenth centuries to decorate the covers of Latin manuscripts. The ivory cover of the Carolingian gospel book known as the Saint Lupicin diptych, for instance, shows a large enthroned Madonna and Child in a central panel, surrounded by smaller scenes, mostly from Mary’s life (Fig.

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