Cortona, Glorification of the Reign of Urban VIII
Links moralized allegories using mythological figures with the exaltation of the Catholic Church. Vigorous spatial shifts, illusionistic architecture, and variations of pose, color, and light animate and dissolve the surface of the walls and ceiling. The central field in keeping with the traditional association of the church ceilings and the heavens, is depicted as the sky. It is defined by an illusionistic, rectangular frame with corner octagons containing fictive bronze reliefs. The figure in orange draperies holding a sceptor personifies Divine Providence. This is reflected in the fact that the whitest light surrounds her head. The three bees refer to the sweet odor of sanctity believed to have emanted from Urban VIII's tomb. At the sides of the heavenly realm are mythological subjects.