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A Printed Icon in Early Modern Italy by Lisa Pon

By Lisa Pon

In 1428, a devastating fireplace destroyed a schoolhouse within the northern Italian urban of Forlì, leaving just a woodcut of the Madonna and baby that have been tacked to the school room wall. the folk of Forlì carried that print - referred to now because the Madonna of the fireplace - into their cathedral, the place centuries later a brand new chapel used to be equipped to enshrine it. during this ebook, Lisa Pon considers a cascade of moments within the Madonna of the Fire's cultural biography: whilst ink was once inspired onto paper at a now-unknown date; while that sheet was once famous via Forlì's humans as incredible; whilst it used to be enshrined in numerous tabernacles and chapels within the cathedral; whilst it or one in every of its copies used to be - and nonetheless is - carried in procession. In doing so, Pon deals an scan in artwork ancient inquiry that spans greater than 3 centuries of creating, remaking, and renewal.

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Icon” is a particularly rich term. 52 Ninth-century iconophile Theodore the Studite wrote that, “he who revers [a Byzantine icon] surely revers the person whom the image shows, not the substance of the image . . 54 The Byzantine icon thus partakes of its model’s sacrality, and devotional practices directed toward such an icon reach the holy figure depicted. 55 Although I will argue that the Madonna of the Fire alludes to compositional and functional conventions rooted in Byzantium, when I call the Madonna of the Fire an icon, I am not saying it is a Byzantine icon.

38 Forlı` itself fell to the French in late January 1797 as part of the second wave of attacks on the Papal States. But Napoleon chose not to enter the city until February 4, 1797, the feast day of the Madonna of the Fire. Napoleon repeatedly displayed not only brilliant military tactics during his Italian campaign but also supremely strategic cultural ones. Fifteen days after entering Forlı`, the Peace of Tolentino was negotiated and signed by the Pope’s delegates, increasing the Pope’s indemnity as well as pressing for the delivery of the works of art and manuscripts already promised in the Bologna armistice.

The third chapter opens the book’s next part, “Emplacement,” by situating the terrible blaze of February 4, 1428, which the woodcut miraculously survived, within the various associations of fire held by Western Europeans from the fifteenth through the early eighteenth centuries, roughly from the building of Lombardino di Ripetrosa’s schoolhouse to the completion of the decoration of the chapel dedicated to the Madonna of the Fire. ” This final part opens with Chapter 6, a consideration of the moving icon, carried through the streets and open spaces of the city.

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