An Italian Sculptural Pilgrimage - part XIX

Ave-Maria-Pacis Marble Sculpture in Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome (LEO Design)

Join me on my summer holiday as I travel (mostly) through Italy—as always, in search of beautiful sites, sculpture and all things sculpture-ish. 

I have had a difficult time finding information about this lovely Twentieth Century marble sculpture in Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. It was commissioned to commemorate the end of World War I (in 1918) and bears the title AVE-MARIA-PACIS ("Hail, Queen of Peace). She holds her son in her right arm while her left hand is elevated—is it a blessing or is she saying "Stop!"? Her serene face and the drape of her garments are reminiscent of Pre-Raphaelite or Belle Epoch (Art Nouveau) sculpture from the 1880's to the 1920's, which is very modern in a basilica begun in the Fifth Century AD. And perhaps this is why I cannot find-out more about her: the sculpture simply is overwhelmed amongst the neighboring treasures of the last 1600 years of art and architecture. Nevertheless, I love her beauty and I love her simplicity.  I also love her message—and the Art Nouveau aesthetic, rare in the sacred spaces of Rome.

We'll continue our summer holiday tomorrow. 


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