In this book, Robert Maniura explores the role and importance of the miraculous image in the art and devotional practices of Renaissance Italy. Using the records of Giuliano Guizzelmi, a Tuscan lawyer, he focuses on his stories of miracles of local shrines, including Santa Maria delle Carceri, a painting of the Virgin Mary on a wall of the town prison, and the relic of her belt in the Prato Cathedral. Guizzelmi's stories build a powerful picture of the visual culture of the period, involving images that were kissed, worn and applied to sick bodies in rituals of healing. They also place his devotional activity in the context of his everyday life. Moreover, the paintings of Guizzelmi's burial chapel also engage with contemporary pictorial conventions and show how his concerns can inform our understanding of contemporary art, notably the works of his late fifteenth-century contemporaries, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and Filippino Lippi.Read more
- Integrates the miraculous image into the wider material culture of the Renaissance
- The book is based on rich primary evidence associated with a single individual
- Concentrates on one town, Prato, in Renaissance Tuscany on a biographical timescale, allowing a detailed evocation of a well-defined cultural context
Reviews & endorsements
'This book is a treasure-trove of insights into devotional behaviors of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It is well-researched and makes visible a range of rich archives, from civic administrations to personal documents. The author weaves historiographical discourse with primary sources, canonical artworks, and lesser-known objects to render a masterful representation of devotion in Renaissance Tuscany. Each example is part of a narrative that leads the reader to a fuller understanding of the context in which Guizzelmi lived … this captivating and wonderfully rich volume is a valuable resource for anyone invested in late medieval and early modern devotion.' Sarah Reiff Conell, ContemporaneitySee more reviews
‘Maniura brings an exceptionally incisive mind to the question of how miraculous images functioned … For Maniura, art and miracle together created ‘apparatuses of consolation’ (190). In this perception he brings a shrewd empathy to the people whose stories he relates.’ Mary Laven, European History Quarterly
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- Date Published: November 2018
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781108426848
- length: 276 pages
- dimensions: 261 x 184 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.76kg
- contains: 59 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Giuliano Guizzelmi: a lawyer of Prato
2. The Guizzelmi chapel, the large crucifix and the eucharist
3. The relic of the Virgin: the Holy Girdle
4. The miraculous image of the Virgin: Santa Maria delle Carceri
5. Guizzelmi's miracles: badges and prints
6. Votive offerings: making oneself in wax
7. Making miracles
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