Madonna of Grace

Abstract
This sculpture of the Madonna of Grace is located on the high altar of the Chiesa del Monte Purgatorio in Martina Franca. The attribution and dating of the sculpture are contested. Art historian Virrotio Sgarbi has dated the sculpture to the sixteenth century and attributed it to the Pugliese sculptor Stefano da Putignano. Other sources are uncertain of the sculptor's authorship but date it to the 17th century. The seated composition of the Madonna of Grace is reminiscent of Stefano's sculptures of the Madonna enthroned seen in San Francesco in Monopoli, the Chiesa Matrice in Noci, and the Chiesa Matrice in Turi. This is likely a work by a later sculptor, imitating the manner of Stefano da Putignano. The angle and structure of the Virgin's head, the folds of the fabric, and the proportions and pose of the baby are all not typical of Stefano's style. The sculpture was restored in 2016 to reveal the simple brown robes that are original to the statue, previously overpainted with blue, red and gold. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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