Margherita Clavarino

PHD Student

Miraculous Prints in Early Modern Italy

Supervisors:  Joanne Anderson /Michelle O' Malley /Bill Sherman

Research interests

Miraculous Prints | Miraculous Imagery | Graphic Arts | Cartelami I Arcimboldo
Relation of Printed Images to Paintings and Sculptures 

My research focuses on early modern prints in Italy which were believed to have miraculous powers. To give one example, the Madonna Bianca of Portovenere is a woodcut which suddenly changed its colours. Since miraculous prints are generally anonymous religious prints, objects of devotion and adoration, my research goes beyond the boundaries of the history of art, drawing on other disciplines, such as religious studies, anthropology and history. This inter-disciplinarity is vital for an understanding of the phenomenon, but the art historical perspective allows a closer observation of the object print, which is perhaps the largest group within the category of miracle-working objects. During the 2000s, miraculous images became the focus of sustained scholarly enquiry but little has been specifically written about miraculous prints with the exception of Lisa Pon’s “A Printed Icon in Early Modern Italy. Forlì’s Madonna of the Fire”. It offers great insight into the individual work and its singular story but without examining the broader category of miraculous prints to which the woodcut belongs, leaving the door open for a more systematic study.


MA in History of Art (Print Culture and the Early Modern Arts in Italy, France and Spain) from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a BA in Economics and Management of Art from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.''

Conference paper

‘Miraculous Early Modern Prints in Italy’, College of Art Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles, 21-24 February 2018.