The Mineral Metamorphoses of Christ in Quattrocento Italian Painting
Cyril Gerbron After studying philosophy, history, and art history, Cyril Gerbron received his Ph.D. at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University in 2012. He is the author of Fra Angelico. Liturgie et mémoire (forthcoming, 2014), co-editor of Penser l’étrangeté. L’histoire de l’art de la Renaissance italienne entre bizarrerie, extravagance et singularité, and author of several articles on Quattrocento painting. His interests include medieval and Renaissance Dominican thought, liturgy, arts of memory, the use of ornament, materials and loci by painters.
This research aims to understand why minerals have such an importance in Quattrocento paintings that depict the episodes surrounding the birth, death and Resurrection of Christ. Minerals are symbolically and poetically related to the body and person of the Savior. Like Christ, they have a strongly metamorphic character, and the infinity of their forms, colors and aspects can be used to manifest the dual and mysterious nature of Christ.