(b. before 1593, Genova, d. 1636, Venezia)

Allegory of the Redemption

San Moisè, Venice

The altar frontal in San Moisè, Roccatagliata's last work, was entirely unknown before being given to that church in 1779 by Antonio Damiani. A very individual and intensely emotional work, it depicts an Allegory of the Redemption. On the right is a group of weeping women; among them stands St John, while above is a cascade of angels. In the bottom centre is Christ, whose massive body (completely out of proportion to the other figures) is covered, except for his head and right arm, by a swarm of angels who carry him to the tomb. Above, separated from the scene below by a diagonally held cross, floats a fierce God the Father supported by angels. At the left tower are two trees that shade the tomb, around which grieves a group of men, with one lone woman in the left corner. Space is compacted, almost non-existent.

The relief, which is one of the most extraordinary objects in 17th-century Venetian sculpture, combines Mannerist refinement of touch with Baroque emotionalism. It marks the first tentative advance of a Venetian relief sculptor into the territory of Baroque.

The picture shows the relief after restoration in 2011.