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Mysterium Magnum

Michelangelo's Tondo Doni

Mysterium Magnum by Regina Stefaniak
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This book presents the "Tondo Doni" as a model of "Ephesians'" 'great sacrament' of marriage for the new Florentine republic. Following fifteenth century theology, Michelangelo portrayed Mary as a humble wife dominated and possessed by a virile guardian Joseph, the couple united as if 'two in one flesh'. To compensate for their symbolic propinquity, he cast her as a paragon of virginity, a muscular mulier fortis. In order to keep this virago in her place, Michelangelo coupled the Virgin in spiritual union with Christ, maenad-Psyche to bacchic Eros, attempting to mystify her social subordination via Ficinian commentary and Saint Paul into self-sacrificing love. Then, firing the Doni infant's vehemence with a distinctly violent strain of Christian divine love, the painter turned to Dante's rime petrose to continue the implied action and simultaneously authorize a new painterly style, a sculptural stile aspro.
BRILL; January 2008
180 pages; ISBN 9789047433019
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Title: Mysterium Magnum
Author: Regina Stefaniak
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