Description The Virgin is posed against an aureole of light. Emanating from her head is a nimbus of stars, and at her feet is the half-moon. Above, is God the Father, the heavenly host, and the dove of the Holy Spirit. Below her are several saints, including a bishop kneeling in adoration. Angels hover in the clouds surrounding her. In pose and physiognomy, the Virgin resembles a comparable figure occurring in Carlo Maratta's "Saint John and the Doctors Meditating on the Immaculate Conception," (1686) in Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome. Its narrow format suggests that the Walters painting was intended to serve as a study for a ceiling decoration. In listing the picture as "The Fine Arts Blessed by Religion," painted as a study for the ceiling of the Sala dei Candelabri in the Vatican, the early cataloguers of the Massarenti collection were undoubtedly alluding to Torti's only other recorded work, a ceiling decoration executed about 1884 during the alterations by Ludovico Seitz (1844-1908) to the Sala dei Candelabri. "The Fine Arts Blessed by Religion," however, was completed by Seitz, who was both an artist and keeper of the Pontifical collections.
|3/03/1982||Examination||examined for condition|
- God's Minstrel: St. Francis of Assisi. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1982.
- To Arrest the Ravages of Time: Caring for Art at the Walters. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] lower left: TD
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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