Artwork of Healing artworks return to San Giovanni di Dio

Art of Healing artworks return to San Giovanni di Dio

Linda Falcone

July 20, 2021 – 13:52

In June 2021, just two months prior to Advancing Women Artists’ definitive closure, the Historical Medical center of San Giovanni di Dio in borgo Ognissanti welcomed two freshly restored ovals by eighteenth-century artist Violante Ferroni. The Artwork of Healing commenced in 2019 and, for AWA, the lasting display of these huge-scale operates representing charity, new existence and superior wellbeing are an proper conclude to the organization’s conservation perform. 

From preliminary infrared diagnostics to cleaning, consolidation, varnishing and re-stretching, there are several phases to the conservation method. Over and above the technological elements associated in conservation, it is an honor to look at a forgotten artist come to everyday living, as conservators discuss her technique, uncover her character and come across clues that will encourage “art detectives” of the upcoming. 

Just after many years with Violante Ferroni, conservators Marina Vincenti and Elizabeth Wicks find answers and talk to new issues, as they share their “takeaway” ideas.

Saint John of God Heals Victims of the Plague by Violante Ferroni

Marina Vincenti

“Enter, stage right”

“There are primarily feminine figures in Saint John of God Heals Victims of the Plague. A person, in specific, introduces us into the scene. The determine sporting a crimson costume captures our consideration and, at the exact same time, attracts us into the portray, into this personal environment, within this area, in which a miracle is using location. In Saint John of God Provides Bread to the Bad, there are much more male figures. We have a mother with her baby and a woman determine carrying a bodice, but other than that, they are all adult males: bad adult males and friars. Then, we have a male figure found from the back, who has relatively pronounced musculature and he provides a clue to Violante Ferroni’s interest in anatomy.” 

“During the conservation course of action, the most exciting factor that can materialize is to uncover a trace of the painter. I believe that artist Violante Ferroni needed to leave us some clues that would direct us to the discovery of her signature. At a sure stage, I was cleaning the background of Saint John of God Gives Bread to the Bad. In its rocky landscape, I observed what seemed like her initials carved on one particular of the stones. No one gave substantially value to this chance at to start with, but I felt it was an invitation to hold looking! Positive adequate, a couple days afterwards, in the darkest part of the stone structure on the painting’s decrease correct-hand side, I uncovered her authentic signature.”

Saint John of God Gives Bread to the Lousy by Violante Ferroni

Elizabeth Wicks

Discovering an artist’s character

Violante labored with pretty rapid brushstrokes and just a bit of impasto. It presents you the notion that she was a actual professional who was pretty positive of what she was accomplishing. If you are timid as a painter, you are inclined to paint substantially tighter, but she is painting loosely, she is portray in bold strokes. She is painting rapidly! I believe it is very major that these functions are in a community hospital. For a female artist to have received this sort of a large, prestigious commission in the mid-18th century attests to the actuality that Violante Ferroni need to have had a incredibly excellent, reliable status at the time.” 

A new idea emerges for Saint John of God Heals Plague Victims

“We realize by hunting at the crown of flowers on the child’s head that this youngster was given up for dead… Now what we don’t know is no matter if this was essentially an nameless baby who symbolizes Saint John of God therapeutic victims of the plague, which is what art historians have mentioned in the earlier. There is an additional idea derived from a legend about a disciple of Saint John of God, a healer who worked for the Courtroom of Spain. Could the younger child in Violante’s portray have gone on to become the future king, Philip IV of Spain? We know the infant suffered from spells in which he grew to become violently ill and that he was treated by a monk while lying in the Queen’s arms. Was Violante depicting this very scene in her ovals at the historic Healthcare facility of San Giovanni di Dio?”

Returned to their home in San Giovanni di Dio


With heartfelt thanks… 

To task supporters

Advancing Girls Artists, Robert Lehman Basis, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ‘The Mud Angels fulfill the Art Angels’ with Florida Point out University Florence and Lion’s Fountain, Rauch Foundation

And our institutional partners

Azienda USL Toscana Centro, Fondazione Santa Maria Nuova Onlus, Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la città metropolitana di Firenze e le province di Pistoia e Prato

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