A series that looks at the visual arts for signs of the universal Church in sometimes unexpected places.
Days after the feast of the baptism of Jesus, a 1735 painting by Gian Battista (John the Baptist) Tiepolo is up for sale at Sotheby’s. For an undisclosed price, it will be possible to acquire the last altarpiece by this definitive rococo artist in private hands. It’s especially interesting because of its depiction of a rosary, befitting a work titled “Madonna of the Rosary.” Rosaries are not often clearly defined in paintings, considering how popular they have been since being revealed to St. Dominic eight centuries ago. By the 18th century, the cult of the Rosary had been thoroughly revived by the Dominican Pope Benedict XIII. The example in Tiepolo’s painting takes the form that we know so well, although the medal hanging below the cross is an unusual feature.
Lucien de Guise is on Instagram @crossxcultural. As a Catholic writer, editor, curator and former museum director, his aim is to build bridges through art.