Episode 268 – Caravaggio’s “Madonna of the Palafrenieri”
March 6, 2024

Painted in 1605 for the chapel of the Papal grooms, known as “Palafrenieri,” in the new Basilica of St. Peter, Caravaggio’s painting was removed after only a few days because it was considered indecorous. The stark nudity of the Christ Child, the bulging breasts of the Virgin Mary (who was modeled from a well-known prostitute!) and the unflattering representation of St. Anne (patron saint of the grooms) were most likely the reasons the painting was thought to be inappropriate for the most important church in the Catholic world.

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