Spirituality in Conflict: Saint Francis and Giotto's Bardi Chapel

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9780271006215: Spirituality in Conflict: Saint Francis and Giotto's Bardi Chapel

Few saints have received so much attention as Francis of Assisi and few artists so much attention as Giotto di Bondone and yet the master s cycle of Saint Francis in the Bardi Chapel of Santa Croce in Florence has been little discussed. Similarly, the remarkable panel that now serves as the chapel s altarpiece has been given only cursory consideration by historians and art historians even though this panel, with its twenty narrative scenes of the saint s life, represents the most complete visualization of mid-13th-century Franciscan spirituality which has survived. In this book Goffen shoes how the history of Santa Croce itself, which contains both of these works of art, parallels and summarizes the early history of the Order of Friars Minor. Santa Croce was and is the most important Franciscan church of Florence and, like the order itself in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it was bitterly divided into opposing factions, the Spirituals and the Conventuals. We see here that, tragically, the source of their disagreement lay in the character of Saint Francis himself. Unlike the Dominicans and, indeed, unlike all other contemporary religious orders the Friars Minor fostered a cult of personality of their founder. Precisely because Francis provided the example for his friars, the way in which his character was presented in art and in literature became of the utmost concern to the order, a matter requiring deep consideration and, eventually, careful control. But despite their disagreements, the factions were agreed about one central point: Francis was unique in having received the wounds of Crucifixion as a sign of divine approbation.Goffen considers the church of Santa Croce, the Bardi Dossal, and Giotto s cycle of Saint Francis both in relation to each other and in the context of the history and spirituality of the Franciscan order during its first century. The dossal is the visual equivalent of the writings of Celano, the first biographer of Saint Francis. The hero of the dossal is the Spiritual ideal, but by the time the Bardi family had commissioned its chapel of Saint Francis, almost a century after the dossal was painted, the Conventuals had effectively taken over the church and friary of Santa Croce. Giotto s cycle of Saint Francis in the Bardi Chapel is understood as the representation of the Conventual Saint Francis, the purposeful and controlled hero of Bonaventure s biography, which had been imposed as the only official life of a saint.

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About the Author:

Rona Goffen is Distinguished Professor, Department of Art History, Rutgers University. Her publications include Piety and Patronage in Renaissance Venice: Bellini, Titian, and the Franciscans; The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum; and numerous articles in The Art Bulletin, Renaissance Quarterly, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Arte Veneta, and other periodicals.

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Goffen, Rona
Editore: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Tx (1988)
ISBN 10: 0271006218 ISBN 13: 9780271006215
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Descrizione libro Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Tx, 1988. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110271006218

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Rona Goffen
Editore: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Txt) (1988)
ISBN 10: 0271006218 ISBN 13: 9780271006215
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Descrizione libro Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Txt), 1988. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0271006218

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