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 were tacked to the school room wall. the folks of Forlì carried that print - referred to now because the Madonna of the hearth - into their cathedral, the place centuries later a brand new chapel was once outfitted to enshrine it. during this publication, Lisa Pon considers a cascade of moments within the Madonna of the Fire's cultural biography: while ink used to be inspired onto paper at a now-unknown date; whilst that sheet used to be well-known by means of Forlì's humans as dazzling; while it used to be enshrined in quite a few tabernacles and chapels within the cathedral; while it or certainly one of its copies used to be - and nonetheless is - carried in procession. In doing so, Pon deals an test in paintings historic inquiry that spans greater than 3 centuries of constructing, remaking, and renewal.
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Extra info for A Printed Icon in Early Modern Italy
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program 14a. Detail of Fig. 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 last chapter attends to the power of the Madonna of the Fire in and beyond the city limits of Forlı`, both by attracting devotees from neighboring territories and by inspiring Marian devotion beyond the city walls. ” The outward zoom of these chapters thus begins with a close analysis of the Madonna of the Fire as a printed piece of paper and then expands to analyze progressively larger physical and ideological sites associated with it: shrine and chapel, church and city, local region and Papal State.
Furthermore, what Venturi saw as the “malformed hands with truncated fingers” of the central Madonna and Child depicted in a visually unsatisfactory and awkward pose can be understood instead as a representation of a miraculous image full of potentiality, caught in the action of moving out of a Hodegetria-like position. 112 Furthermore, this quotation of the preeminent type of Marian icon, thought to be painted by Saint Luke himself (an important consideration to be treated in the next chapter),113 is not here fixed and perfectly finished, but rather incomplete and in the process of happening before the viewer’s eyes.
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