Storia dell’arte 151-152, Gennaio-Dicembre 2019
Guido Reni in S. Maria Maggiore a Roma. Nuovi documenti sulla Madonna col Bambino dormiente
The Madonna with the sleeping Child by Guido Reni (Bologna, 1575-1642), once placed in one of the altars of the Roman basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, is one of the most admired, copied and reproduced painting by the Bolognese master. But it is not well documented due to the lack of information provided by literature and sources. Based on the evidence of new archival documents preserved in the archive of the papal basilica, the paper aims to reconstruct the ancient history of the painting with greater precision.
In light of the new documentation, it is possible to analyze the entry and exit of the Reni’s painting from Santa Maria Maggiore. This information can clarify some aspects about the cultural and social context in which it may have been executed and the subsequent steps that led to its dispersion. Some conclusions can be drawn to the character that immediately made the painting an icon and an object itself of veneration because of its special location.