16th CENTURY MAESTRO FROM THE SOUTHERN ITALY
Madonna with the Child
sculpted, painted and partially gilded wood, height 97 cm
According to an ancient iconography, the Virgin holding the Child assumes in this sculpture an imperial dignity. This aspect is further expressed by the ancient noble crown wreathing the head of the Mother of God and by the imperial globe supported by the “Caput Mundi” Child, which used to be a globus cruciger (Latin for “cross-bearing orb”).
However, in this courtly representation there are elements that are rather realistic and almost popular, both in the physiognomy of the Madonna and in the details of the sleeve with buttons partly hidden by the voluminous draping and of the shoewear showing the feet.
These elements, the iconographic persistence and the stylistic characteristics place the execution of this work in Southern Italy, most likely during the sixteenth century, despite reminiscences of earlier periods.