Title :

Describing the Virgin

Author :
WINSTON, Jessica ;
Publication year :
Language :
English ;
Abstract :
Descriptions of the Virgin began to emerge in Italian popular devotional literature in the 15th c. and in theological texts in the 16th c.texts, worshippers and readers were no longer left to imagine the appearance of the Virgin in prayer. Rather, her image was given in a description. And this represents a complete shift away from the tradition in the West, a tradition that originated in S. Augustine's De Trinitate. This tendency to describe the physical appearance of the Virgin for meditation via texts also existed, although inconsistently, in paintings of her. In the itinerant artist Antonello da Messina's two images of the Annunziata (Munich and Palermo, ca.1470) the painter appropriates the pictorial structure of portraiture to depict her. It is the portrait-like format and all its associations that confirm the reality of this sacred person. The images must be thought of as pictorial examples of what one might call the urgency of similitude that pervaded devotional literature of the period. Because of the pressures of the Reformation and the suspicion with which images were viewed, beginning in the 16th c., Catholic theologians seemed to have used the idea of likeness to defend the use of images in devotion. The more the image was a reflection of its archtetype, the less it was like an idol, or false image, hence the importance of the descriptions of the Virgin Mary. ;
Pagination/Size :
3 ill. ;
Topic :
530 - BIBLIOGRAPHIE D'HISTOIRE DE L'ART ; 5304C01 - 1400-1800 ; Peinture et arts graphiques ; Peinture et dessin ; 530-IV - 1400-1800 ;
French keywords :
Antonello da Messina, v.1430-1479 ; Art ; Iconographie ; Iconographie chrétienne ; Imagerie de dévotion ; Italie ; Littérature ; München (DEU), Alte Pinakothek ; Palermo (ITA), Museo archeologico regionale Antonio Salinas ; Peinture ; Portrait ; Théologie ; Vierge ; Vierge de l'Annonciation ; Vierge: Annonciation ; 1400-1600 ;
Descriptors :
Antonello da Messina, ca.1430-1479 ; Art ; Christian iconography ; Devotional imagery ; Iconography ; Italy ; Literature ; Madonna of the Annunciation ; Mary, Virgin ; Mary, Virgin: Annunciation ; München (DEU), Alte Pinakothek ; Painting ; Palermo (ITA), Museo archeologico regionale Antonio Salinas ; Portraits ; Theology ; 1400-1600 ;
Document type :
Article ;
Source :
Art history, 2002, 25, 3, June
INIST identifier :
24931389 ;
ISSN 0141-6790 ;
Provenance :
Bibliographie d'Histoire de l'Art ;
Publisher :
Routledge & Kegan, Henley-on-Thames
Publisher country :