Courageous and politically incorrect women

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Beatrice Cenci (1577–1599) – a patricide absolved by Romans, commemorated by the city

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Giulia Farnese Orsini – black-eyed ad black-haired papal mistress

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Imperia Cognati - the most famous courtesan of Renaissance Rome

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Christina of Sweden (1626–1689) – a significant, yet cumbersome papal guest

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Marcella (approx. 325–410) – a curious erudite from Aventine Hill

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Marozia (892? – 936?) – „beautiful as a goddess and fiery as a wench”

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Paula of Rome (347–404) – an example of womanly virtues

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Pauline Borghese (1780–1825) – a French provocateur in the papal chapel

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Silvia Ruffini (approx. 1475–1561) – a lonely, quiet widow, with a group of a cardinal’s children

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Theodora the Elder (? – 928?) – a prostitute or a woman of „truly manly strength”?

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Tullia d’Aragona (1508? – 1556) – the queen of literary salons

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Vanozza Cattanei (1442–1518) – the unofficial wife of the pope and the official mother of his children

Saint Jerome (between 331 and 347 – 420) – „Romans hide your daughters because Jerome is coming”

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Saint Jerome (between 331 and 347 – 420) – „Romans hide your daughters because Jerome is coming”

We are familiar with this interpreter of the Bible mainly from images showing his old, rachitic body. However, behind the official façade of a hermit and erudite hides a man prone to conflicts and uncompromising, whose figure is willingly (today) recalled by those who, on one hand, want to show his misogyny, and on the other those who would like to prove that his attitude is the best evidence of valuing women in the late-antiquity Church. And where was the actual truth?

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Polet Chapel – a monument to the counter-reformation virtues of a French wine merchant

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Polet Chapel – a monument to the counter-reformation virtues of a French wine merchant

The Roman career of  Domenichino was hanging by a thread. First the death of Pope Clement VIII, whose nepot (Pietro Aldobrandini) was the artist’s patron, and then the death of his master Annibale Carracci (1609) meant that commissions no longer came. And only on the eve of his departure for Bologna, the painter obtained a very prestigious commission, namely the painting of The Last Communion of St Jerome, to be quickly followed by a series of frescoes concerning the life of St. Cecilia. These frescoes were ordered by a wealthy merchant as an element of the decoration of the Roman F...

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Domenichino’s The Last Communion of St. Jerome – a work about the superiority of communion under one kind

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Domenichino’s The Last Communion of St. Jerome – a work about the superiority of communion under one kind

When in 1614 this painting was hung at the main altar of the Church of San Girolamo della Carità at via Monserrato, it aroused such a great admiration, that the inhabitants of Rome went on veritable pilgrimages to visit it, praising its religious depth, power of expression, and realism. The work as well as its creator – Domenichino, were the talk of the entire artistic world. Only one man looked upon them with skepticism and jealousy. This was, the well-known in the city on the Tiber painter Lanfranco. A few years later he accused Domenichino of plagiarism, desiring to cover him i...

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