ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the ways the infirm body is depicted in the Quadroni di San Carlo, a cycle of twenty-three paintings of San Carlo Borromeo in Milan cathedral. The Quadroni di San Carlo offer an illuminating example of the promotional use of images in the wake of Catholic reforms. A patron of the arts and sciences, he was instrumental in commemorating the sanctity of his celebrated cousin. Federico was responsible for erecting the colossal Sancarlone statue in Arona and for initiating the painting cycle at the Duomo of Milan. In the painting, the living saint performing his charitable act is a central figure in a manner similar to the two Quadroni by il Cerano and il Duchino, which respectively depict St Carlo distributing his clothing and furnishings to the plague-stricken and St Carlo administering the sacraments to victims of the epidemic.