By Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ.; Blessed Virgin Saint Mary; Blessed VirginSaint. Mary; Pon, Lisa
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 were tacked to the study room wall. the folk 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 was once equipped to enshrine it. during this publication, Lisa Pon considers a cascade of moments within the Madonna of the Fire's cultural biography: while ink was once inspired onto paper at a now-unknown date; while that sheet was once famous via Forlì's humans as superb; while it used to be enshrined in numerous tabernacles and chapels within the cathedral; whilst it or one in every of its copies was once - and nonetheless is - carried in procession. In doing so, Pon bargains an test in paintings ancient inquiry that spans greater than 3 centuries of constructing, remaking, and renewal
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Extra info for A printed icon : Forlì's Madonna of the Fire
Mosaic of the Apse of Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta, Torcello, Italy. Byzantine. Photo: Scala / Art Resource, NY The structural richness and decorative vocabulary of the image taken as a whole evoke other types of objects. The little x’s and dots that fill the horizontal bands repeatedly dividing the picture bring to mind both the tooled punchwork in the gold backgrounds of devotional panels and also the mosaicpatterned strips separating scenes in church fresco cycles. The colonnettes reinforce the impression of a church interior, as does the Annunciation in the spandrel, which recalls, for instance the apse wall of Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel in Padua with its similarly placed figures of Gabriel and Virgin Annunciate, or Santa Maria Assunta, Torcello, in which the Annunciation scene in the spandrels frames the Madonna and Child (albeit a standing rather than half-length one) over a row of smaller isocephalic apostles below in the apse itself (Fig.
Giorgio Vasari, Saint Luke Painting the Virgin, ca. 1565. Fresco. Church of Santissima Annunciata, Florence. Photo: Scala / Art Resource, NY Other depictions of the scene, including Giorgio Vasari’s late-sixteenth-century fresco in the Florentine church of Santissima Annunciata, make explicit that Luke is rendering a portrait of a sitter who appears before him, in Vasari’s painting not in flesh and blood but as a cloud- and angel-borne vision (Fig. 18). An early-seventeenth-century set of three panels, painted in the circle of Baldassarre Croce and now in the museum of Santa Maria Maggiore itself, explicitly applies the Lucan legend to the Salus Populi Romani (Fig.
Four pairs of small saints flank the large central Madonna and Child in two registers, each couple separated from the central arched field by a twisted colonnette. Some of these saints are identifiable, but the absence of recognizable local patron saints, for instance, Marcolino da Forlı`,66 makes it impossible to suggest a specifically Forlivese manufacture or intended market. Instead we see saints who would appeal to all fifteenth-century Christians: Paul holding a sword and Francis with book and cross at the upper left; in the register below him Christopher carries the Christ Child over blue waves and Anthony Abbot holds his tau staff; at the lower right, we see John the Baptist and red-robed Jerome with a rampant lion; above them, Lawrence, clad in yellow, holds his grill with both hands.