Jan Wiese

The Naked Madonna

The Naked Madonna

Summary

The collapse in 1989 of the newly-built church at Perugia, killing the congregation of notables gathered for its consecration, just as they have discovered in themselves the ability to sing in perfect Latin, must surely be ascribed to the miraculous (or devilish) properties of the Madonna and Child altarpiece specially donated by the Vatican. And the quiet, unassuming archivist, whose researches had led to the rediscovery of the old Tuscan painting after so many centuries in the dark, is the very man to sift through the bundle of uncatalogued documents in the Vatican and bring to light a whole chain of dire events connected with the fourteenth-century painter, his model, and his drinking companion the village storyteller who recorded the events for posterity. Not even the archivist himself, living five hundred years later, is able to escape the dramatic influence of the picture - a portrait that at once enriches and destroys every life it touches