A History of Land by Amanda C. Sweet

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Nanni di Banco’s Assumption of the Virgin relief and its lost silk girdle

Or Vallah. "Nanni di Banco’s Assumption of the Virgin relief and its lost silk girdle." Presented at the Annual Meeting of The Renaissance Society of America, New Orleans, 2018.

The paper focuses on the relief sculpture, The Assumption of the Virgin, located above the Porta della Mandorla of Florence's Duomo, sculpted by Nanni di Banco. It displays the assumption of the Virgin and the handing of her girdle to St. Thomas. In the 15th century, two disparate materials were juxtaposed in di Banco's sculpture; the marble Madonna once held a silk cintola, as evident from documentation, but this girdle is now lost.

The iconography reflects the devotion to the relic of the sacra cintola, held in Prato. In 1351, Prato and its thriving textile industry came under Florentine governance, and consequently, the people of Prato were forbidden from producing silk. Therefore, the paper will examine the relief as a starting point of a wider historical, economic, and political discussion.

This paper was presented as part of a session titled "New Research in Italian Quattrocento Sculpture I." View the conference webpage.

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