Italy, late 15th century, circa 1480
Little is known about the Verona-born artist Galeazzo Mondella, known as "Moderno," who was an Italian silversmith and medalist. He counted among the most renowned producers of Renaissance bronze plaques. He was born in Verona but worked in Rome, where he was successful thanks to his great vitrosity in metalwork, his antique inspirations and the strength of his compositions.
This plaque represents Saint Roch, recognizable by his pilgrim's staff, his hat and his cloak as well as by his gesture: he lifts up a part of his garment to show the wound on his thigh symbolizing the plague he contracted while helping the sick during an epidemic in Rome.
This copy is exceptional for the clarity of the details represented: the features of the face as well as the hair curls of Saint-Roch are perfectly legible. The fineness of the cast allows us to appreciate all the details of the scene represented: from the folds of the shoes to the city in the background and the clouds in the sky.
It would seem that authors who have written about this artist agree that Moderno depicted religious scenes only at the beginning of his career, thus this plaquette would have been made in the 1480s.
Places of exhibition of a similar model:
- Louvre Museum, inventory number OA3256
- National Gallery of Art, inventory number 1957.14.304
Banzato, D. & Pellegrini, F, (1989). Musei Civici di Padova, Bronzi e placchette, Padova: Studio Editoriale Programma.
Pope-Hennessy, J., (1980). The Study and criticism of italian sculpture, New-york : The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University Press.
Bormand, M., Paolozzi Strozzi, B., Tasso, F. (2020). Le corps et l'âme, Paris: Musée du Louvre, pp. 111-112.
Lewis, D. (1989). The Plaquettes of "Moderno" and His Followers. Studies in the History of Art, 22, 105-141.
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