The Grand Duchess Maria Maddalena and the Festival of the Dowry

The Grand Duchess Maria Maddalena and the Festival of the Dowry by

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In 1614, Grand Duchess Maddalena, wife of Grand Duke Cosimo II, led 141 girls int he traditional Dowry Procession after they had attended mass int he church of San Lorenzo in Florence, where each girl was presented with a bag of dowry money, thereby allowing her to marry or enter the church. Like her mother-in-law Dowager Grand Duchess Christina, shown behind her in her widow's weeds, , Maria Maddalena led the procession past the Baptistry in front of the Duomo and on to the Hospital of San Paolo, a charitable instituion in piazza Santa Maria Novella. Cosimo II's father, Ferninand I, had taken over the hospital's organisation in 1592, turning it into a home where Florentine citizens could convalesce for three days when they had been released from hospital. Thus the event (and the print) celebrated teh two charities sponsored by the Grand Duke. Today San Paolo has become the Museum of the Novecento (Modern Art Museum).

Title
The Grand Duchess Maria Maddalena and the Festival of the Dowry
Artist/creator
Production date
1615-1619
Medium
engraving
Dimensions
225 x 300 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
M1982/1/2/5
Other ID
030/2 Auburn Catalogue
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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