Artibus et Historiae no. 54 (XXVII)

2006, ISSN 0391-9064

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MARILYN ARONBERG LAVIN - Images of a Miracle. Federico Barocci and the Porziuncola Indulgence

Federico Barocci's painting of Il Perdono di Assisi is the first altarpiece to represent this controversial subject, and it does so in a completely unprecedented way. As such the painting is an notable statement of Franciscan and more generally Counter Reform theology. A previously unknown document affirms the date, the devotional content, and the historical context of the commission, which in turn explain the extraordinary papal license subsequently granted to the artist to sell his monumental print of the same subject directly to pilgrims. Most importantly, the study reveals Barocci as an artist of the intellect whose innovative style - ingratiating naturalism and lyrical effects of color and light, often thought of as anecdotal and effusively sentimental - in fact give life to the ideological and social contributions of the new era.

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