A Thousand Words

The Marriage of Tobias and Sarah
by Carlo Dolci

by Mary Elizabeth Podles

Carlo Dolci? Isn't he the father of holy card art? Sappy Madonnas and weepy saints? I thought this was a serious column . . .

Poor Carlo Dolci. Though his paintings were highly prized (and priced) among the Medici and the connoisseurs of seventeenth-century Florence, the taste for them in later years has largely vanished. Recent exhibitions and new scholarship, however, have begun to spark appreciation for Dolci as an able artist and an eloquent spokesman for the doctrinal and pastoral concerns of the Council of Trent and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

A Meditation on Marriage

The Marriage of Tobias and Sarah (c. 1649) demonstrates Dolci at his best. The . . .

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Mary Elizabeth Podles is the retired curator of Renaissance and Baroque art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She and her husband Leon, a Touchstone senior editor, have six children and live in Baltimore, Maryland.

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