Title:Immaculate MadonnaArtist:Giacomo Antonio Ponsonelli Date:c.1710Creation Place:Europe, ItalyCredit Line:The Driscoll Art Accessions Endowment FundAccession Number:2010.77
Ponsonelli was the foremost sculptor active in Genoa in the first third of the 1700s. He worked for patrons all over Europe, and according to written sources he even sent sculptures to Latin America. This sculpture is his only work in an American museum.
In order to accentuate the supernatural vision of the Immaculate Madonna standing on clouds, on the crescent moon and a dragon (symbol of the defeated sins), the Virgin's clothes are shown in tumultuous movement, darting off in different directions with speedy lines. The energetic and abstract drapery movement was a characteristic of Baroque painting in Genoa as well. Ponsonelli masterfully pushes the divine tornado of textiles into the third dimension, and takes it to new extremes.