Description of the painting by Rafael Santi “Fire in Borgo”

Description of the painting by Rafael Santi “Fire in Borgo”

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The fresco Fire in Borgo tells of events taking place in one of the central regions of Rome. According to legend, a fire broke out near the palace of the Pope, which died down only after the appearance of Pope Leo IV. Appearing on the balcony, the pope stopped the fire with a cross sign aimed at the crowd and the flame that framed the whole quarter of Rome.

The canvas conveys the panic and horror of the inhabitants of Rome, suffering from indomitable flames. In the upper left corner you can see a woman transferring her baby to a man from the balcony in order to save the child from the elements. Embraced in flames, she is ready to sacrifice herself in the name of saving her child.

Below is a part of the area, embraced by bright red flames and black smoke. The general light color palette of the work is emphasized by the darkest part of the composition, conveying the death and indomitability of the elements, the misfortune that suddenly overtook a peaceful city. To the right is an expressive group of people with jugs of water who are working hard to save themselves. In the central and farthest part of the picture you can see the building, on the balcony of which stands Pope Leo IV, directing the sign of the cross to the immense flame. In anticipation of a miracle and salvation from the Most Holy, a group of women with children gathered under the balcony, raising their hands to their ruler. They praise the pope and beg him to save Rome from the fire.

The canvas depicts a beautiful young man - Aeneas, carrying on the shoulders of an exhausted old man from a burning quarter. Next to him is his wife Kreuza and son Askaniy. The appearance of Aeneas on the canvas indicates that the main plot of the panel originates from the work of Virgil Troy, which also describes the fire.

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