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Saint Dominic Receives the Rosary by Plautilla Nelli (c. 1570)

Saint Dominic Receives the Rosary by Plautilla Nelli (c. 1570)

Nelli’s Saint Dominic Receives the Rosary

An art treasure for Nelli’s order at the Last Super Museum of Andrea del Sarto, Florence. This painting was in a considerable state of despair when it was found in San Salvi’s storehouses. A large amount of repainting has been executed during a past restoration in an attempt to redress extensive loss of color. It had been severely damaged by various causes, including centuries of pigeon droppings, whose acidic composition had corroded the painting’s surface in many places. Saint Dominic, founder of Nelli’s Dominican Order, was known for his visions of the Virgin Mary who inspired him to promote the recitation of the Rosary. Nelli’s lunette is part of a triptych series of panels, commissioned by Sister Arcangela Viola, prioress of Nelli’s convent in the 1570s. The painting’s perspective suggests it was meant to be seen from very high up and her brushstrokes are executed in a way that have made art historians wonder if Nelli intended for this panel to look like a fresco. Oil on wood panel. Dimensions: 147 x 231 cm.

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