Facing the Plague in Renaissance Italy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article I focus on two of the most prominent female saints: the Franciscan St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) and one belonging to the third order of Saint Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). I analyze a series of visual examples that picture their roles as saviors against epidemics and point out similarities and differences between them. I emphasize the power of the images in providing relief and salvation. St. Clare of Assisi and St. Catherine of Siena offer two distinct models of female sanctity that protect against the plague: the first owing to her symbolic power and her being a kind of a second Mary and the second because of her unique personality and actions in healing the sick and saving the dying in Italian cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-634
Number of pages31
JournalReligion and the Arts
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Assisi
  • Italian art
  • Siena
  • St. Catherine of Siena
  • St. Clare of Assisi
  • plague

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History
  • Religious studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Facing the Plague in Renaissance Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this