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Tornabuoni Arte

S027
ANTONELLO GAGINI (circle of)
Madonna
Palermo 1478-1536
Gilt and polychromed wood
cm. 157


Her face framed by a veil which slopes gently forwards, the Virgin is represented standing, her arms slightly spread around her hips, her eyes half-open with an ecstatic expression. Her tunic is tightened at the waist by a belt, so as to create a series of narrow parallel folds which break on the pedestal. The fine modeling of the face and the accurate rendition of the drapery demonstrate familiarity with the novelties of Fifteenth-century Central Italian sculpture, where the classical elements inspired by the tradition of ancient sculpture determined more plastic volumes, expanded into the surrounding space. An aggregate of extremely complex elements coexist in this sculpture; in addition to the Tuscan influence, we may observe a skillful use of color and gilding of Spanish origin, and complex draperies inspired by the Lombard style. These elements could be found together as of the early years of the Fifteenth century in the cultural milieus of Southern Italy, as in the works of Giovanni da Nola (1488-1558) and in particular those of Antonello Gagini; it is with the works of the latter that we find most parallels. This Madonna, which seems to have been conceived for observation from a lower point, was probably the visual culmination of a liturgical aggregate on a large and precious wooden altar.



Tornabuoni Arte