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Madonna of the Rosary among Dominican Saints

Archconfraternity of the SS. Rosario - Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto

Bitonto - (BA)

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Altarpiece - (Puglia)

  • Archconfraternity  SS. Rosary

    Foundation year: 1629

    City: Bitonto (BA )

    Archdiocese: Bari-Bitonto

    Artistic artefact (canvas, fresco, statue, etc.): Altarpiece

    Title: Our Lady of the Rosary among Dominican Saints

    Dimensions: 3x2 m

    Year of execution: 1739

    Author (with year of birth and death): Paolo de Maio (Marcianise 1703 - Naples 1784)

    Brief description of the work and author profile: The painting on canvas was commissioned in 1739 to Paolo de Maio, a painter of unmistakable Solimenesque training, when the expansion works of the church of San Domenico, initially with a single room, led to the construction of the transept , and is located at the Altar Privilegiatum intended for perpetual worship for the Titular of the Rosarian association, and from which a plenary indulgence was imparted accompanied by the penitentiary provisions in force. In this work, De Maio, who up to that moment had firmly adhered to the puristic terms of Arcadian classicism experimented with by the master Francesco Solimena with the use of balanced design solutions, instead turns to support the proposals of Francesco De Mura, whose sophisticated drawing formulas, inserted in a luminous atmospheric dimension, tended to neutralize the violence of the solimenesque chiaroscuro shocks in order to initiate the figurative expressions towards the confluence with the literary outcomes marked by the rediscovery of idyllic-pastoral moments. The work represents the incipient moment of Dominican history, that is the institution of the Rosary by the Virgin in San Domenico di Guzman, accompanied by Saint Catherine of Siena (recognizable thanks to the attribute of the heart, emblem of her long ecstasies), Saint Pius V (the Pontiff who instituted the feast of the Holy Rosary, recognizable by the papal tiara), and Sant'Agnese da Montepulciano (recognizable thanks to the attribute of the lamb). Both the rocaille centering and the theatricalization of the 15 mysteries of the rosary, painted within bands, derived from Jordanian inventions, aim to emphasize the Rosarian glory, well summarized below by the ceroforo dog, Domini canis, animal aliter of the etymology of the holy founder.

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