QUERCIA, Jacopo della
(b. ca. 1367, Quercia Grossa, d. 1438, Siena)

Madonna (Silvestri Madonna)

1403-06
Marble, height 210 cm
Museo del Duomo, Ferrara

Jacopo's first extant documented sculpture can be found in Ferrara. In 1403 he was contracted to carve the marble statue of the Virgin and Child for the Silvestri Chapel in the cathedral (the date of 1408 on the back of the monument is not original). The Virgin, a full, thickset figure, sober and unadorned, holding a pomegranate, is seated on a modest throne and stylistically follows the tradition of Arnolfo di Cambio. The severely frontal figure stares vacantly ahead, and the rigid lines of the statue are only partially relieved by the gentle flow of her mantle and veil.

The sculpture was always object of great devotion on the part of Ferrara, that since the eighteenth century was called "Madonna Bianca" or, more affectionately, "Madonna del Pane" (Madonna of the Bread), since in the hand of the child the typical bread of Ferrara can be seen.

This monumental marble composition is the first surviving documented work of Jacopo della Quercia.




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