Saint Fabiola Plate
Saint Fabiola Plate

NOT FOR SALE - Saint Fabiola Plate by Romeo Cuomo

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Not for Sale
Part Number:221 NOT FOR SALE - Saint Fabiola


  • This piece is not for sale. It is being shown on this website as a sample of work that was personally done for me. This is a custom made 20 inch plate representing Saint Fabiola - my saint name - by Italian Artist Romeo Cuomo and his team of Artists from Amalfi, Italy. This plate was handmade and painted by Mario Francese.
  • Herein are various photographs of Saint Fabiola to show how perfectly the artist - Mario Francese - conveyed and portrayed her resemblance on a ceramic plate respecting the original painting by Jean-Jacques Henner in 1885.
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  • Historical information: Fabiola was a wealthy Roman Patrician of the famous Fabia family. She was for a time a member of St. Jerome's circle but fell away, divorced her husband for his dissolute life, and remarried. On the death of her second husband, she returned to the Church, devoted herself to charitable works and aiding churches, and built the first Christian public hospital in the West, where she personally tended the sick. She visited Jerome at Bethlehem in 395, supported him in his controversy with Patriarch John of Jerusalem, decided not to join Paula's community, and on her return to Rome, continued her charitable work, opening a hospice for poor pilgrims at Porto with St. Pammachius. Jerome wrote two treatises for her and is the source of most of our information about her. Her feast day is December 27th. -
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  • Jean-Jacques Henner's definitive portrait of Fabiola (1885) is the prototype for all of the works on display. The melodrama Fabiola or The Church of the Catacombs (1854), written by the British Cardinal Wiseman gave rise to the cult of Fabiola, previously an obscure female saint. Henner's depiction of Fabiola, coinciding with a Catholic revival sweeping Western Europe, became so widely admired that both his portrait and Fabiola herself gained renown. Printed reproductions of this lost original work have since reached a mass market through the Christian world, and hand-painted and -crafted versions continue to be produced over a century later. Created by the internationally acclaimed artist Francis Alÿs, Fabiola is an installation of over 300 portraits of a fourth-century Christian saint collected by the artist from flea markets and antique shops throughout Europe and the Americas. These seemingly identical portraits, including paintings, embroideries and miniatures are all copies of a lost original of Fabiola by the French nineteenth-century painter, Jean-Jacques Henner. The idea of gathering a collection of the copies of Fabiola was conceived by Alÿs almost by accident. Spurred by an interest in artisanal production, and a fascination with the structure and role of the art market, he decided to build an art collection of ‘hand-painted' copies of famous masterpieces found in flea markets. Rather than copies of depictions of the Madonna or Che Guevara, he encountered the saintly Fabiola in visits to cities as diverse as Maastricht and Mexico City. Alÿs says of the portraits, ‘I personally see them as all different: each seems to project some kind of personal ideal of womanhood or to disguise, consciously or not, a familiar face with the features of Fabiola.' Fabiola was commissioned by Dia Art Foundation and installed at the Hispanic Society of America in Manhattan in 2007-2008 and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2008-2009. The project is accompanied by an illustrated hardback book that includes background material on Saint Fabiola, as well as an essay by Dia Art Foundation curator at large, Lynne Cooke. Born in Belgium in 1959, Francis Alÿs originally trained as an architect. Soon after moving to Mexico in 1986 he turned to the visual arts as a more direct way of exploring issues related to urbanisation and socio-political conditions. He often works collaboratively within the public sphere and has developed an approach to art that is based on observations of, and engagements with daily life. Many of his projects are solitary, peripatetic journeys which take the form of urban walks conditioned by particular circumstances. In 2005 the National Portrait Gallery hosted a previous installation by Alÿs in collaboration with Artangel, in which a fox called Bandit was set free in the Gallery with his movements recorded by surveillance cameras. Alongside public actions, Alÿs continues to make more improvised projects as well as exquisite paintings and drawings. In 2004 Alÿs was the inaugural winner of the Blue Orange Prize in Berlin and he participated in the Venice Biennial in 1999, 2001 and 2007, and the Carnegie International in 2004. Alÿs lives and works in Mexico City. -

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