Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800

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The bubonic plague ravaged early modern Europe from the mid-fourteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, striking so often and in so many localities that people constantly were on guard against the scourge. Hope and Healing explores the response of the visual arts to this omnipresent aura of death, decay, and tragedy in the early modern European experience, focusing on Italy between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.

An esteemed group of contributors draws on a wide range of materials, including diaries, medical and devotional treatises, poetry, sermons, letters, and chapbooks to illuminate the various aesthetic, social, and religious concerns that preoccupied artists, patrons, and the general populace. This vibrant and fascinating volume ultimately offers a fresh and intriguing perspective on the forces and concerns that shaped early modern Italian art.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780936042053
  • Publisher: Worcester Art Museum
  • Publication date: 3/15/2005
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gauvin Alexander Bailey is assistant professor of art history at Clark University. Pamela M. Jones is associate professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Franco Mormando is associate professor of Italian studies and chair of the department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Boston College. Thomas W. Worcester is associate professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross.

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Table of Contents

Presidents' letter
Introduction : response to the plague in early modern Italy : what the primary sources, printed and painted, reveal 1
Plague art in early modern Rome : divine directives and temporal remedies 45
San Carlo Borromeo and plague imagery in Milan and Rome 65
Art and plague at Naples 97
Anthony van Dyck, the cult of Saint Rosalie, and the 1624 Plague in Palermo 118
Combating the plague : devotional paintings, architectural programs, and votive processions in early modern Venice 137
Saint Roch vs. Plague, famine, and fear 153
Catalogue of the exhibition 177
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