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Virgin and Child
(Pistoia 1439 - 1497/98 Fossombrone)
||Second half of 15th Century
||68 x 46 x 6 cm
||E. Costantini, 1895
Virgin and Child
The figure of Domenico Rosselli, who was born in Pistoia, remains something of a mystery. His work focused primarily on ecclesiastical fittings, baptismal fonts, altarpieces, decorative ornamental carvings, friezes and fireplaces, carved in marble or stone. In the early part of his career he made these to commissions in Florence and its environs, then after 1476 in the towns of the Italian region of the Marche: Urbino, Pesaro and Fossombrone.
As was the case with most Florentine sculptors, Domenico Rosselli created reliefs of the Virgin intended for private devotion. Of these, the fifteen reliefs depicting the Virgin and Child form a distinctive group, not only because of their subject, but owing also to their mood and the attractive charm of the figure of the Virgin. It is in these works that Rosselli managed to give of his true self, bringing to perfection his own individual style. The Madonna reliefs recall the compositions of famous Florentine sculptors, particularly Antonio Rossellino and Desiderio da Settignano, but in style they are akin to the works of Agostino di Duccio and Mino da Fiesole; thus even without written documentation, they attest to the fact that Rosselli mastered the craft of sculpture in Florence.
One of the most notable features of the present relief is the shallow carving and its drawing-like idiom. The relief was carved in pietra di Cesena stone from quarries near Pesaro, like the Madonna relief in the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, a work which, along with the Madonna relief formerly in the Kauffmann Collection in Berlin, comes closest in style to the Budapest relief.
Text: © Manga Pattantyús