Gypsy madonna, madonna gypsy

Who’s copying who?

Anonymous C16th(?) virgin from <a href=''>Museo Davia Bargellini</a> (<a =''>official site</a>)

Anonymous C16th(?) virgin from Museo Davia Bargellini (official site)

Early accounts of the early European wanderings of the gypsies tend to have them as penitent and/or persecuted Egyptian Christians (Borrow, The Zincali, recapitulates the principal meme), and I believe without having investigated in the slightest that painters of the High Renaissance gratefully used these recent arrivals in their towns as bit part players in their depictions of the Flight into Egypt and suchlike.

The pre-C20th stereotype of gypsies was of avaricious hypocrites, uninterested the great religious theatre beyond their church door begging pitches, but Spanish gypsies of course throng the halls of American evangelical sects, you do meet the odd Romanian gypsy wandering through Barcelona cathedral and Barbastro has a gypsy saint, El Pelé, murdered by anarchists at the beginning of the Civil War. Spain’s presentation of itself to the world rests to a considerable degree on its invention by American, British and French writers in the early- to mid-19th century, and black American culture feeds off white creations of blackness, so it would be amusing to find that the gypsy lady I encountered in Santa Maria dei Servi in Bologna the other day admiring the stupendous Montorsoli Annunciation was refining her lunar body curve rather than figuring out where a crowbar could be brought to bear.

This idea that gypsies were used as subjects in Biblical painting was certainly popular among 19th century Romantics–Titian’s Virgin and Child became the Gypsy Madonna then, and Mrs Jameson has a wonderful explanation in Legends of the Madonna as represented in the fine arts of a Rest on the Flight into Egypt attributed to Giorgione. The Provençal ballad with which Mrs J wraps up, like the Provençal carol I blogged years ago, belongs to the boumian genre of Provençal popular culture, with its caganer-cognate nativity scene Bohemian, to which I’ll return shortly.

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Last updated 11/07/2019

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi (1): For the church with same name in Siena, see Santa Maria dei Servi, SienaSanta Maria dei Servi is a Roman Catholic basilica in Bologna, Italy. It was founded in 1346, as the church of the Servite Community of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was designed by Andrea da Faenza, a head friar and architect who also assisted Antonio di Vincenzo on the monumental Basilica of San Petronio.

Bible (34):

Bologna (2): Bologna; Emilian: Bulåggna [buˈlʌɲːa]; Latin: Bononia) is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy.

Caganer (8):

Egypt (9):

Flight into Egypt (1): The flight into Egypt is a story recounted in the Gospel of Matthew and in New Testament apocrypha.

George Borrow (16): George Henry Borrow was an English writer of novels and of travel books based on his own experiences in Europe.

Giorgione (1): Giorgione was an Italian painter of the Venetian school during the High Renaissance from Venice, whose career was ended by his death at a little over 30.

Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (1): Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, also known as Giovann'Agnolo Montorsoli, was a Florentine sculptor and Servite friar.

Gospel of Matthew (1): The Gospel According to Matthew (Greek: Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Μαθθαῖον, translit.

Gypsy (126):

Italian Renaissance (1): The Italian Renaissance was a period of Italian history that began in the 14th century and lasted until the 17th century.

Italy (87):

Kaleboel (4307):

Mary (mother of Jesus) (1):

Provence (3): Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south.

Spanish Civil War (18):

Titian (1): Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, known in English as Titian , was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school.


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