GAGGINI, Antonello
(b. 1478, Palermo, d. 1536, Palermo)

Madonna del Buon Riposo

1528
Marble
Museo Nazionale, Palermo

Antonello Gaggini, the finest Sicilian sculptor of the sixteenth century, carried on the traditions of his father Domenico, who had migrated from Genoa to Palermo. In 1528 Antonello executed the Madonna del Boun Riposo - the 'Madonna of Sweet Rest' - for the Ansalone chapel in the church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo. The Madonna quietly holding the sleeping Child stands in a niche ornamented with seraph heads. Above the architrave, ten figures of praying patriarchs venerate a symbol of the Virgin which once crowned the monument but is now lost. There is a rather conventional sweetness in Antonello's earlier works, but at the height of his career he achieved a more convincing expression.