All art is contemporary…Episode #5

22 dicembre 2020

By the occasion of the season holidays, Flashback is presenting four works related to the “Madonna”.

Madònna feminine noun. [Including ma, reduction of mia (my), atonal, and donna (lady)]. – 1. a. Title of honor which was used in the ancient times to address a woman or when talking about her. b. In the poetic use, the beloved woman. c. Mistress. 2. a. By definition and in general with capital initial, the Virgin Mary.

The first work is Ragazza di profilo of 1916 by Arturo Noci, a pastel on sketching paper, which – together with Studio di testa: motivo elegiaco, 1895 by Cesare Laurenti, shows us a free, elusive – and though intensive and sensual – feminine beauty 

The term “madonna”, which was previously poetical and honorific, takes a purely religious connotation in the contemporary language. 

The work by Felice CasoratiRitratto della sorella Elvira of 1934, locates in investigation, on the ridge between profane and sacred and – in the wake of the pictorial and oleographic tradition – shows us that particular meaning of the term that refers to a balanced, sad beauty, with a wrinkled face.

Though, the term sounds closer to us with the works that depict the Madonna. The works dedicated to her alternate throughout the centuries. 

Vergine Orante, by Vincenzo Castellini, is an XVIII century mosaic with a precious golden-plated bronze by Paolo Spagna: many heterogeneous tesserae to compose and render us the vision of an indivisible whole.

Madonna col Bambino, by a sculptor of first quarter of the XIV century from Abruzzo/Molise is a work in carved and painted wood that shows the scuptors ability of highlighting the sweetness of the Madonna’s visage in contrast with the catting features of the Middle Age sculpture.

On the other hand, Madonna con Bambino, by the Flemish painter Marcellus Coffermans, of 1560 approx., is a very small (11.6 × 8.4 cm) oil on deck and Madonna dell’Umiltà, an oil tempera emulsion on deck by Bernardino del Signoraccio, from Pistoia, born in 1460.

In the image, on the top left side: Arturo Noci, Ragazza di profilo, 1916, pastel on sketching paper, cm 50 x 45, courtesy of Galleria Carlo Virgilio & C. (Rome). Follows: Felice Casorati, Ritratto della sorella Elvira, 1934, oil on deck, cm 90 x 60, courtesy of Bottegantica (Milan). Follows: Cesare Laurenti, Studio di testa: Motivo elegiaco, 1895, oil on deck, cm 58,5 x 96, courtesy of Galleria Carlo Virgilio & C. (Rome).
Below, on the lower left side: Marcellus Coffermans, Madonna con Bambino, 1560 approx., oil on deck, cm 11.6 x 8.4, courtesy of Caretto&Occhinegro (Turin). Follows: Vincenzo Castellini, Vergine Orante, 1779, mosaic, cm 51 x 45, courtesy of Alessandra Di Castro Antichità (Rome). Follows: Sculptor from Abruzzo/Molise, Madonna col Bambino, first quarter of the XIV century, carved and painted wood, height cm 110, courtesy of Flavio Pozzallo (Oulx). Follows: Bernardino del Signoraccio, Madonna dell’Umiltà, tempera grassa on panel, cm 60 x 40, courtesy of Flavio Gianassi – FG Fine Art (London).