Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The invisible made visible: A pilgrim's view of Santa Maria Maggiore and its altarpiece
by Smith, Amber Lee, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 173; 1493187
Abstract (Summary)

The objective of this paper is to discuss the interior visual program of the Roman basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore, chiefly through analysis of its thirteenth century apse mosaic, and its fifteenth century altarpiece commissioned by Pope Martin V, painted by the Florentine Renaissance artists Masaccio and Masolino. Specifically, the following discussion will examine the visual relationship between the two Roman works by examining the altarpiece's front central panel of the Assumption of the Virgin and Jacopo Torriti's mosaic of the Coronation of the Virgin and Dormition of the Virgin. As I argue that the original location of the altarpiece was the high altar, the Assumption would have completed the chronology of the Death of the Virgin as illustrated in the Coronation and Dormition in the apse above. Integral to the discussion is the role of fifteenth century pilgrims and their presumed interpretation of the images and their message. Both works emphasized the mercy and triumphant power of the Church as demonstrated through the redemptive power of the Virgin Mary, as shown through her dormition, her miraculous assumption to heaven, and finally through the coronation where she is crowned Queen of Heaven, seated on the right hand of Christ.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Miller, Julia I.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, Art history, Medieval history
Publication Number: 1493187
ISBN: 978-1-124-62224-8
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