Mary in Florentine Art

Front cover image

Timothy Verdon

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Territory: World exc Italy
Size: 210 mm x 140 mm
Pages: 120
Illustrations: 67 colour

RRP £8.99

Florentine artists have represented Mary in every moment and event of her life: historical, meta-historical and legendary. Yet they have never been mere Madonnari / Madonna painters repeating conventional images, promoting traditional piety. In their hands, the typical subjects of Marian iconography have dilated, becoming occasions of profound, often mystical reflection. The painters and sculptors of Florence have presented God s mother as the 'all holy', but also as a human being and above all as a woman.

This small book seeks to suggest, through specific examples, the depth and originality of their approach. It neither discusses every master and masterpiece (an impossible task), nor illustrates every Marian theme. It narrates and, in so doing, relates significant episodes in a process of research that has evolved across a thousand years: a process which in Mary painted and carved has shown Florence and the world the beauty of Christian faith and life.

The book illustrates, among others, works by Giotto, Bernardo Daddi, Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo.

Timothy Verdon, born in New Jersey nel 1946, is an art historian trained at Yale University. In Italy since the 1960s, Verdon is a priest of the Archdiocese of Florence, where he directs the Office for Catechesis Through Art. Organiser of international meetings on themes related to religious art, he is author of books and articles in English and Italian, including L arte sacra in Italia. L immaginazione religiosa dal paleocristiano al postmoderno (Milan: Mondadori, 2001). He is a Canon of the Cathedral, a member of the Board of Administrators of the Cathedral Foundation, a Fellow of the Harvard University Centre for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti), and gives courses for Stanford University and the Central Italian Theology School.