The Madonna Mourning the Dead Christ
Model: Probably Florence, about 1582-84; Cast: perhaps Milan, probably late 16th century
28.3 x 26.1 x 1 cm
This cast relief is closely based on an exquisite repoussé (hammered) gold relief signed by the Venetian goldsmith Targone (J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu), his only certain work. Another gold version of about 1585 decorates the base of The Assumption, by Annibale Fontana (1540-1587), in Santa Maria presso San Celso, Milan. In an unusual variant of the standard Pietà composition, the exposed and supine body of Christ is contrasted with the upright figure of Mary, her heavy drapery folds expressive of the weight of her grief.
Purchased 1950 (No. 50.4)