Cigoli's Immacolata and Galileo's Moon: Astronomy and the virgin in early seicento Rome

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Abstract

The moon in Lodovico Cigoli's Immacolata fresco (1610–12) in the Pauline Chapel, S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, departs radically from tradition, appearing not as a perfect crescent but as a crater-pocked sphere, just as Cigoli's friend Galileo had observed it through his telescope and had published it in 1610. This study focuses on the reception of Cigoli's and Galileo's moon in light of Christian lunar symbolism and astronomical theory. At issue are the theological implications of a maculate moon within an image of the Immaculate Virgin in a papal chapel and how the Church accommodated the new cosmology to theological traditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-235
Number of pages18
JournalArt Bulletin
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes

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