Saint Margaret of Cortona

Gaspare Traversi Italian

Not on view

Traversi is known primarily for his lively, sometimes bawdy genre scenes, but here he lends quiet grace to representing Margaret of Cortona, a thirteenth-century nun canonized during the artist’s lifetime, in 1728. She is shown wearing the habit of a Franciscan Tertiary, holding a crucifix, and gazing into the face of an angel who has appeared to her holding a crown of thorns. In the background, Satan, who had attempted to persuade her to return to her former sinful life, withdraws into the fire of hell. A rustic, contemporary interior and the exchange between her illegitimate son (a sign of her former sins) and the dog (her attribute) naturalize an otherworldly religious scene.

Saint Margaret of Cortona, Gaspare Traversi (Italian, Neapolitan, ca. 1722–1770), Oil on canvas

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