Wednesday, August 30, 2017

When art came to the rescue: The intercession of Mary

By Elizabeth Lev
Detail of "Madonna of the Rosary"
The Renaissance had transformed intercessory images of Mary into sacred conversations, where several saints, gathered around an enthroned Mother and Child, quietly invoked her for prayers and intentions. The Counter-Reform era pressed this advantage and revitalized images of Marian intercession, encouraging the faithful with even more fervor to turn to Mary in times of need. A string of artists—Domenichino, Cigoli, Guido Reni and Massimo Stazione—produced images of the Madonna of the Rosary, the quintessential Marian devotion. These proliferated in religious houses, in churches and even in private homes, but perhaps the most striking was Caravaggio’s version, painted in 1607. [More]
Caravaggio's "Madonna of the Rosary" (1607). Oil on canvas, 143.5 in × 98.2 in. Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna