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Prime Nozze: Generation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses several pieces of sculpture, including Michelangelo's David-Hercules, Donatello's Judith, and Saint Joseph. Michelangelo's David-Hercules marked a republican reclamation of the virile civic imagery of the trecento republic, when a Hercules appeared on the Florentine seal of state. The scandal of Donatello's Judith lay in its peculiar re-presentation of her death-bringing act. In a Christian perspective, the iconographic theme of Saint Anne and the Virgin was closely associated with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. If the Virgin was conceived because she had been chosen to be the Mother of God, then Saint Anne was preordained to be the mother of the Mother of God. The prime nozze of Mary and Joseph had reformed the politically and socially unacceptable symbol of the intransigent Judith to the extent of disarming the virago, correcting her superior attitude, and reducing the ideal wife to a properly subservient position of humility.

Keywords: Donatello's Judith; Michelangelo; Mother of God; Saint Anne; Virgin



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