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Original scientific paper

https://doi.org/10.21857/m16wjc6op9

Thurifer Angels of the Crucifixion Groups in Ragusan Friaries: Wonders, Images and Cults

Matko Matija Marušić orcid id orcid.org/0000-0001-9208-3111 ; Institute of Art History in Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia


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Abstract

This paper sets out to explore the miraculous accounts concerning the Crucifixion groups in two Ragusan mendicant churches. The starting point is a well-documented case of the Franciscan high cross, which was embellished by a pair of wooden thurible-bearing angels by the prominent fifteenth-century preacher, Giacomo della Marca, later to become a blessed and saint. As legend has it, Giacomo announced a miracle, as was later corroborated at high feast days when the angels were incensing the cross by swinging their censers. Apart from a number of early modern accounts of these wondrous occurrences, the miracle-working imagery that graced the triumphal arch of St Francis’ church has come down to us through an early seventeenth-century drawing, which allows for the examination of the iconographical features of the venerated object lost in the aftermath of the 1667 earthquake. As scholars have already rightly recognised, the illustration shares remarkable closeness to the mid-fourteenth-century Crucifixion group in the Ragusan Dominican church, a surviving composition that was endowed with the same miraculous narrative. Admittedly, different early modern writers accredited the trope of the miraculous thurible-swinging angels to both the Franciscan and Dominican crucifixions. These sources, therefore, testify to the complex yet understudied histories of the Ragusan Crucifixion groups, and call for a more attentive examination of wonders reverberated centuries after the enshrinement of these imposing compositions in the city’s principal mendicant churches.

Keywords

Giacomo della Marca, miracle narratives, miracle-working crucifix, Crucifixion group, Friars Minor, Dominicans, Dubrovnik

Hrčak ID:

205829

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/205829

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