Salviati (Francesco de' Rossi)
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints
Oil on canvas
Church of Santa Cristina della Fondazza, Bologna, Italy
This painting was on loan to the Accademia Gallery in Venice when I photographed it. The Accademia's label identified the figures as (left to right) Christina of Bolsena, John the Baptist, Mary and Jesus, Philip, Nicholas, and (in the foreground) Romuald and Blessed Lucia of Settifonte.
Christina holds something in her right hand that does not seem to be any of her usual attributes. John is recognizable by his camel-hair garment, Philip by the long cross, and Nicholas by the three golden balls.
In almost all his images, Romuald (921-1025) wears the white or off-white habit of the Camaldolese order and has a white beard and a fringe of white hair around an otherwise bald skull. In this case his left hand holds the top of a walking stick that is more clearly seen in some other portraits (example). Sitting before him is a model of a monastery on a mountaintop. This cannot specifically represent the mother house that he founded in Camaldoli, which was not on a mountain; rather, it refers generically to the large number of Camaldolese monasteries he founded during his lifetime (Butler, I, 267). His feast is on June 19, the date of his death, but from 1595 to 1969 it was observed on February 7. His vita, written by his contemporary Peter Damian, is in English translation in Head, 295-316, and in Latin in the Acta Sanctorum, February vol. 2, 104-140.
I have not yet found any printed sources on Blessed Lucia of Settifonte, the woman on the right in the Camaldolese habit. According to two internet sources she was abbess of the Camaldolese convent of Santa Cristina near Bologna in the 12th century.1 Neither source has an explanation for the chain and manacles beside her in the painting; they are surely intended as attributes.
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Read more about the Madonna and Child.
Read more about Saint John the Baptist, Saint Philip, Saint Nicholas, and Saint Christina of Bolsena.
Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.