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The Sistine Chapel walls and the Roman liturgy

Author: Carol F Lewine
Publisher: University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Some decades before Michelangelo began work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, such masters as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and Signorelli were called to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV to decorate the walls. By 1483, these painters had completed two monumental fresco cycles illustrating the lives of Moses and Christ - works of complex, and sometimes puzzling, iconography. Carol F. Lewine shows that many long-standing  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Illustrations
Textes Ouvrages illustrés
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Lewine, Carol F.
Sistine Chapel walls and the Roman liturgy.
University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c1993
(OCoLC)624192380
Named Person: Michelangelo (Buonarroti)
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Carol F Lewine
ISBN: 0271007923 9780271007922
OCLC Number: 23584134
Description: xviii, 134 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Contents: I. Introduction --
II. The First Frescoes on the Long Walls: The Baptism of Christ and the Circumcision of Moses' Son --
III. The Second Frescoes on the Long Walls: The Temptations of Christ and Moses in Egypt and Midian --
IV. The Third and Fourth Frescoes on the Long Walls: The Calling of the First Apostles and the Crossing of the Red Sea, the Sermon on the Mount and the Lawgiving on Mount Sinai --
V. The Fifth Frescoes on the Long Walls: The Gift of the Keys and the Punishment of Korah --
VI. The Sixth Frescoes on the Long Walls: The Last Supper and the Last Testament of Moses --
VII. The Lost Frescoes on the Altar Wall: The Nativity and the Finding of Moses; and the Repainted Frescoes on the Entrance Wall: The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ and the Fight for the Body of Moses --
VIII. Experiencing the Narrative Cycles --
Appendix: Liturgical Themes
Responsibility: Carol F. Lewine.

Abstract:

Some decades before Michelangelo began work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, such masters as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and Signorelli were called to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV to decorate the walls. By 1483, these painters had completed two monumental fresco cycles illustrating the lives of Moses and Christ - works of complex, and sometimes puzzling, iconography. Carol F. Lewine shows that many long-standing questions posed by these Renaissance masterpieces can be resolved by systematic investigation of their undoubted links with the Roman liturgy. Her reconstruction of the scheme by which liturgical themes of the weeks between Christmas and Ascension Thursday are mirrored in the subjects of these frescoes has revealed, unexpectedly, that within this program the primary emphasis is on the liturgy of Lent, often on the Lenten liturgy of the early church, and on such Lenten themes as baptism and penitence. The discovery that these frescoes also refer to the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews, another ancient Lenten theme, suggests that Sixtus IV created the papal chapel that bears his name in order to commemorate the return of the popes from their "Babylonian Captivity" at Avignon. This exile ended in 1377, approximately one hundred years before Sixtus began to plan the major artistic enterprise of his pontificate. Lewine's approach to the interpretation of visual images in terms of their liturgical significance is in itself important and her argument, grounded in close visual inspection of the paintings, is ingenious and provocative. Her analyses of the interactions among narrative and symbol, text and image, form and meaning, offer stimulating contributions to quattrocento studies and encourage further consideration of all the decoration of the Sistine Chapel, together, as parts of an evolving ensemble.

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