The Seven Works of Mercy

Love between Astrology and Natural Generosity in the Naples of Tommaso Campanella

in Aries
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

This article offers a new interpretation of Caravaggio’s The Seven Works of Mercy by reading the seminal baroque painting through the lens of its context of production. Commissioned by the philanthropic association of the Pio Monte del Misericordia, Caravaggio’s artwork is therefore used as a gateway to the philosophical, religious and astrological beliefs of its members. While shedding light on the wider circulation of ideas on caritas and natural magic for which Tommaso Campanella would be a benchmark figure, the article reconciles previous interpretations of the painting that had portrayed Caravaggio as either the painter of nature or the heterodox virtuoso of symbols. By reframing these two levels of analysis as components of a symbiotic, rather than mutually exclusive relationship, the article illuminates the tenacity of pagan references, pauperist religious movements and astrological beliefs in the cultural debate of early seventeenth-century Naples.

The Seven Works of Mercy

Love between Astrology and Natural Generosity in the Naples of Tommaso Campanella

in Aries

Sections

References

4

Fagiolo dell’ArcoLe Opere di Misericordia23–30.

7

Fulco‘Il fascino del recluso e la Sirena carceriera’33–56.

8

Bassani & BelliniCaravaggio assassino184–187; Calvesi La realtà del Caravaggio 348–352; Graham-Dixon Caravaggio 191–357. While Bassani Bellini and Calvesi have hypothesized Paul V’s hostility towards Caravaggio as a main reason for Caravaggio’s departure Graham-Dixon has been less adamant on the position assumed by Paul V.

12

BolognaL’incredulità del Caravaggio223–224; Langdon Caravaggio 324–329; Loredana Gazzara ‘Fonti inedite sulla fondazione del Pio Monte della Misericordia: una lettura interpretativa’ in: Il Pio Monte della Misericordia 215–227; 223. It is particularly thanks to Loredana Gazzara that we can identify Manso as commissioner and situate him within the Neapolitan cultural context. Therefore my description of Manso’s contribution partly reproduces hers.

14

ManfrediGio Battista Manso142.

15

Ibid.143.

17

ManfrediGio Battista Manso101–111.

18

LopezInquisizione178–180.

19

Gazzara‘Fonti Inedite’217.

20

Ibid.216.

21

Badaloni‘I fratelli Della Porta’677–715.

22

See for instance Tommaso CampanellaThe City of the Sun115.

23

N. Badaloni‘I fratelli Della Porta’682.

24

Ibid.687.

26

Badaloni‘I fratelli Della Porta’685.

28

R. Bassani & F. BelliniCaravaggio assassino181–187.

33

ErnstTommaso Campanella176–177.

36

Ibid.31–34.

37

Ibid.34–48.

38

Ibid.61–62.

39

CalvesiLa realtà del Caravaggio355–362.

41

Costanza Caraffa‘Ex purgatorij poenis ad aeternum’119–131.

42

Ibid.120 (my translation).

43

Ibid.121 (my translation).

47

Badaloni‘I fratelli Della Porta’685.

48

Gazzara‘Fonti inedited’215.

50

See also Carolyn Lund-Mead‘Dido Alighieri. Gender Inversion in the Francesca Episode’121–150.

51

Ibid.140.

53

See EverartEphemerides Novae et Exactae672.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Figure 1

    Caravaggio (1571–1610), The Seven Works of Mercy (c. 1607)

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 53 53 50
Full Text Views 8 8 8
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0