Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Madonna di Senigallia in the Marche region

    I remember Senigallia as a young kid, when my cousin with her family were used to spend two weeks of their holiday vacation in Senigallia, while my parents and I we were regular customer of a small hotel along Miramare di Rimini, along the "romagnola"coast.

    Between June 18th and July 10th there will be an exhibition in Senigallia to commemorate this beautiful artwork of Piero della Francesca, so why not use the occasion to go there and spend some beautiful days on the beach and walk around the small centre to enjoy some galleries and some good food!!!

    Madonna di Senigallia
    Piero della Francesca 

    The Madonna di Senigallia is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Piero della Francesca, an early Renaissance artist, active between Urbino, Borgo San Sepolcro, Ferrara and Rimini. 

    This work was most probably commissioned by Federico da Montefeltro for the daughter marriage with Giovanni della Rovere, sir of Senigallia. The painting was in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie extra moenia of Senigallia (Marche) until 1917, when the artwork was removed for security reasons. 

    Recently the artwork has been restored, th showed the high quality of Piero della Francesca's treatment of light, as well as the influence of Flemish masters on it in details such as the basket with linen gauze, the coral and the fabric covering the Madonna's head. The light, which realistically enters from the window on the left, is a symbol of the Virgin's conception. The linen in the basket is instead an allusion to her purity, while the case for hosts in the shelf and the coral hanging from Jesus' necklace both hint to the Eucharist sacrifice. The staring, thoughtful immobility of all the characters would be also an allusion to the latter.

    The painting, originally in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Urbino, is quite different from Piero's previous production. The faces still have an expression of aloofness and of superior rational wisdom, but they also convey a sense of precious, almost exotic, beauty. This is one of the paintings in which the artist most clearly reveals his interst in light values, both in terms of reflections and of magical transparencies. From Mary's veil, slightly puckered on her forehead with subtle light variations, to the coral necklace around the Child's neck, to the angels' shining pearls - these are all effects which, together with the light streaming in from the window, and forming a perfectly geometrical shape on the end wall, will appear again and again in Dutch painting of the 17th century.

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The Madonna di Senigallia in the Marche region

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