Benedetto Marini,
Madonna with Child, St. Michael the Archangel and a Saint Bishop

Benedetto Marini,
Madonna with Child, St. Michael the Archangel and a Saint Bishop

Benedetto Marini, Madonna with Child, St. Michael the Archangel and a Saint Bishop
Oil on canvas, cm. 270 x 200 cm, Inv. n. 995

The origins of this altar piece by Benedetto Marini are unknown. As Anna Colombi Ferretti wrote in her study on altar paintings during the Counter-Reformation in the Romagna region of Italy published for the exhibition held in Forlì at the Oratorio di San Sebastiano in 1982, the artist from Urbino, a pupil in his hometown of Claudio Ridolfi around 1611, completed only a few works for his city (the Pietà for the S. Croce church is well-known), before traces of him reappear in Faenza, where he collaborated in 1616 with Fenzoni in the fresco decorations of the two side chapels to the high altar in the Cathedral, without creating an assimilation of styles between the two. The painting exhibited, the cleaning of which revealed the date 1615, was the first of the series.

In the canvas of the Pinacoteca of Faenza, the Child is playing with cherries in a familial setting, as might happen in a less solemn work and in a smaller format, intended for private devotion; St. Michael is captured in the moment he triumphs over the demon, sheathing his sword; the bishop turns his head, in a contemplative profile typical of Marini, in a trusting act of intercession.

 

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