Carved Alabaster Bust of the Madonna, Italian, 19th Century For Sale
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Carved Alabaster Bust of the Madonna, Italian, 19th Century

About

Bust of the Madonna as the ‘Lady of Our Sorrows’ (Mater Dolorosa) Italian, possibly Florence, late 19th century Alabaster, on a separate green serpentine socle Height: 40 cm. / 15 ¾ inches , overall 50 cm. / 19 ½ inches In the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Italy and Spain, busts of the Madonna or ‘Lady of Our Sorrows’ (in Latin, Mater Dolorosa) were often paired with a corresponding bust of Christ as the ‘Man of Sorrows’, shown with the crown of thorns worn during His crucifixion. Both would often be placed on side-altars in churches, alongside devotional paintings or reliquary busts. The present bust, which is carved in alabaster and was probably executed in an Italian (possibly Florentine) workshop in the late nineteenth-century, recalls such depictions of the Virgin, who is presented with a downcast, mournful gaze, her head fully covered with a hooded veil, which is decorated with a hem of repeating stars on a delicately punched ground. Stylistically, it may be inspired by Michelangelo’s figure of Mary in his famous Pièta (St Peter’s Basilica, Rome), with the present bust wearing the same downcast gaze and exhibiting similarly soft modelling of the oval eyes and sharply pronounced Michelangelesque brows. In terms of the composition, it also relates to the work of the celebrated Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822), with the folds and arrangement of the veil being comparable to his bust of the Virgin Mary (formerly Collezione Patrizi, Rome, see Zeri online library, op. cit.). Related Literature: Fondazione Federico Zeri Library, entry no. 81946, online version, last accessed 6 December 2018.    

Details

  • Condition
    Good
  • Condition Details
    A small chip to the hem of the veil on the left side and some chips to the drapery have been restored. A few minor scratches to the nose and parts of veil, otherwise the piece is in good decorative order.
  • Dimensions
    H 19.5 in. x W 13.5 in. x D 9 in.H 49.53 cm x W 34.29 cm x D 22.86 cm
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Seller Reference Number
    no695
  • Reference Number
    LU3814112955401
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