The commentary of the cover

At the End of Our Christian Life, the Crown of Life by Pierre-Marie Dumont

In the 14th century, the chapter house of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria Novella become an extraordinary hub of Florentine intellectual life. There the Dominican brothers debated with all the great minds society had to offer: theologians, philosophers, scientists, jurists, artists, poets, etc. During that blessed age, anything was an excuse for the creation of a work of art. And so the brothers entrusted the fresco decoration of the chapter hall to Andrea di Bonaiuto († 1379). Thus the intellectual adventure of this famous circle in the movement of ideas was worthily celebrated, those preaching friars who contributed in an exemplary way to the glory of God and the salvation of the world. Work would continue for two years, from 1365 to 1367. The result is fascinating, rivaled perhaps only by the Sistine Chapel for its immediate grip on the viewer and then, gradually, for the exuberant abundance of material proposed for our contemplation. In numerous scenes, with epic and compelling breadth, the artist offers for view the triumph of Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, whose grace saves the world through the intermediary of the Church and, more specifically, of the Order of Friars Preachers.

The cover of your Magnificat borrows a detail from a scene simultaneously grandiose and charming, devoted to our earthly pilgrimage, a pilgrimage seen as the Way of Salvation, where Dominicans are depicted as wise guides, trustworthy and diligent. At the end of the path, souls are led by Saint Dominic himself toward the gateway to paradise, where they are welcomed by Saint Peter and crowned by two angels with the crown of Life.


Via Veritatis: Saint Peter at the Gates of Paradise (1366-1368), Andrea di Bonaiuto, 14th c., Spanish Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy.

© Archives Alinari, Florence, Dist. RMN-GP / Georges Tatge