Artibus et Historiae no. 72 (XXXVI)

2015, ISSN 0391-9064

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GRAŻYNA JURKOWLANIEC - A Miracle of Art and Therefore a Miraculous Image. A Neglected Aspect of the Reception of Michelangelo’s Vatican Pietà (pp. 175-198)

In the 1630s, Alessandro Sforza distinguished with crowns several Marian images ‘venerated for antiquity and miracles’, including Michelangelo’s Vatican Pietà, carved c. 1500. It was crowned in 1637, although there is no record of any miracles believed to have been worked by it. The contention of this paper is that three reasons might have contributed to the crowning of the Vatican Pietà: its reputation as a devotional image, its connection with an artistic rather than religious notion of miraculousness, and its relationship to other Marian images venerated in the Vatican Basilica (above all, the Madonna della Febbre, crowned in 1631).

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