Guercino's Paintings and His Patrons' Politics in Early Modern Italy examines how the seventeenth-century Italian painter Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (better known as Il Guercino) instilled the political ideas of his patrons into his paintings. As it focuses on eight works showing religious scenes and scenes taken from Roman history, this volume bridges the gap between social and cultural history and the history of art, untangling the threads of art, politics, and religion during the time of the Thirty Years' War. A prolific painter, Guercino enjoyed the patronage of such luminaries as Pope Gregory XV, Cardinals Serra, Ludovisi, Spada, and Magalotti, and the French secretary of state La Vrillière. While scholarly research has been devoted to Guercino's oeuvre, this book is the first to place his works squarely in the context of the political and social circumstances of seventeenth-century Italy, stressing the points of view and agendas of his powerful patrons. What were once meanings only apparent to the educated elite”or those familiar with the political affairs of the time”are now scrutinized and clarified for an audience far from the struggles of early modern Europe.
'Daniel M. Unger’s outstanding new book is an eloquent elucidation of the role of art in the expression of political power and the relationship between artists and patrons in the creation of works of art.' Sixteenth Century Journal
Contents: Preface; Introduction; A biographical sketch; Part 1 Faith and Hope at the Dawn of the War: In defense of the papacy: St Jerome Sealing a Letter; In praise of religious fervour: Return of the Prodigal Son; A call for a crusade: St William of Aquitaine and Pope Gregory VII; A message to the king of France: Burial and Reception into Heaven of St Petronilla. Part 2 Disillusionment: A memorial: St Gregory the Great with Sts Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier; A warning for the queen of France: Death of Dido; Cardinal Magalotti's revenge: Esther before Ahasuerus; Commemorating peace after the war of Castro: Peace Between the Romans and the Sabines; Bibliography; Index.
A forum for the critical inquiry of the visual arts in the early modern world, Visual Culture in Early Modernity promotes new models of inquiry and new narratives of early modern art and its history. We welcome proposals for both monographs and essay collections that consider the cultural production and reception of images and objects. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to, painting, sculpture and architecture as well as material objects, such as domestic furnishings, religious and/or ritual accessories, costume, scientific/medical apparata, erotica, ephemera and printed matter. We seek innovative investigations of western and non-western visual culture produced between 1400 and 1800.