Scholars of Italian art often overlook the mid-fourteenth-century Allegory of Mercy fresco inside the former headquarters of the Company of Santa Maria della Misericordia, located in the heart of Florence. In The Allegory of Mercy at the Misericordia in Florence, author William R. Levin provides the first complete analysis of the fresco, one of the richest artworks of its era in what it reveals about the society that engendered it and the organization that commissioned it.
Intended as both didactic and inspirational, the Allegory of Mercy illustrates that the Misericordia provided a host of services to needy Florentines from as early as the Trecento, offering members and benefactors the opportunity to aid their neighbors while ensuring salvation for themselves. The book received the 2004 Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication.
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William R. Levin is Professor of Art History, Centre College, Kentucky.Review:
Levin's book...is a welcome addition both to the scholarship on fourteenth-c, Florentine painting and to that on Italian renaissance art....The thoroughness of the research on which Levin's study is based cannot be surmised from the relatively small soft-cover volume in which the book appears. Indeed, the comprehensiveness of the well-written text should have qualified it for a more impressive publication. (Yael Evan Fifteenth-Century Studies)
Levin's book is...timely, well-researched, and...no doubt will find its place as one of the standard references on the painting...It belongs on the library shelves of universities, colleges, and specialists of art and culture in late-medieval Italy. (Phillip Earenfight Speculum)
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