This Rare and Magnificent 17th Century Italian Alabaster Sculpture of The “Virgin Immaculate” is a Splendid Example of Italian Craftsmanship And Piety. It goes Without Saying That to Find Such a Complete Example With Minimal Condition Issues is Truly a Rare Event. The "Immaculate Conception" is One of Only Four Dogmas ( A Truth revealed by God) That Form The Basis of Mariology. And in Turn Reflect The Elevated Status And Important Role The Mother of Jesus Plays Within The Hierarchy of Holy Figures Within The Catholic Church. The Iconography For This Holy Image Conforms to The 17th Century Doctrine Favoured by The Catholic Church For Sacred Ecclesiastical Images of This Subject. The Representation And Symbology of This Sculpture Is Believed to Have Originated in Baroque Spain in The 17th Century. And Thereafter Promulgated Throughout Catholic Europe And The Spanish Colonies. Furthermore We Can Examine Specific Paintings Created by Great Masters of the 17th Century That Assist Us When Making Comparative Judgements on The Basis of Iconography And Representation. Examples Like Peter Paul Rubens Immaculate Conception of 1628 Housed in The Prado Museum in Spain is a Great Yardstick For Comparative Measure. As are The “Virgin Immaculate “ or " Immaculate Conception" Paintings Produced by Francisco de Zurbarán And Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. In Addition to The Historical Iconographic Visual References That This Sculpture Offers, It Would Be Remiss of Me Not To Mention The Sculptural Sensibilities, Craftsmanship And Skill That Have Been Integral In The Creation Process of This Finished Image. For The Artist/Sculpture to be Able to Accurately Portray The Churches Message Through Visual Representation it Was Important For The Artist To Understand The Essence of The Scriptures or Doctrine That The Visual Image Was Born From. The “Virgin Immaculate” is Based on The Doctrine That Mary Was Preserved From Original Sin at The Moment of Her Conception. Other References of Mary in Revelation, Refer to The Dragon/Serpent Beneath Her Feet And The Crescent Moon. It is Apparent to Me Through Observation Of This Sculpture, The Artist Has Imparted The Emotive Qualities Required to Translate The Visual Message to the Viewer or Audience. The Innocence And Purity That Emanates From the Virgins Face is Thoroughly Convincing. She Gently Clasps Her Hands Together in Prayer. Her Flared Cloak/ Garment Can Be Interpreted as The Radiating Sun Which is Masterfully Carved From One Single Block of Alabaster. The Serpent Upon Which She Stands Barefooted is Supported by a Crescent Moon Which is Where The Figural Aspect of The Sculpture Terminates . Immediately Below The Support on Which She Stands Commences The Flat Surface Stand, The Sides of Which Have Been Carved to Form a Break-Front Pedestal Base. This Has Been Meticulously Carved With Steeped And Staggered Edging. The Underside of the Base is Partially Hollowed Revealing Hand Tooling Marks. This Magnificent Figure Crosses Over Two Areas of Collecting. Firstly it is a Rare and Beautiful Work of Sculptural Art. Secondly it is a Rare and Beautiful Work of Ecclesiastical Art. It is Also a Superb Work of Devotional Art Creating The Perfect Conduit For Prayer And Worship. And Clearly For The The Next Owner it Will Represent an Exceptional and Important Addition to Their Collection. The Condition of the Virgin is Very Stable And Extremely Good, Age Considered. The Little Finger on Her Left Hand Has Some Minor Losses And There May Be One Very Minor Loss on her Garment. The Base However Has Not Fared Quite As Well Over Time Although The Losses And Breaks Have Been Restored to a Satisfactory Standard. And it is Unquestionably The Original 17th Century Base. I Would be Very Surprised if This Sculpture Had Not Been Compromised in Some Way Over a Lifetime of Approximately 370 Years. Definitely a Keeper.

Age: Circa 1650
Origin Italy- Almost Certainly Sicily
Height Approximately 63.5 cm
Weight: Heavy

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Genesis Antiques & Interiors

Antique Italian Sicilian Circa 1650 Alabaster Sculpture "Virgin Immaculate"


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    Melbourne , VIC , Australia This Shop is rated Bronze - 5 or more sales Bronzesince 2018