Work: Madonna with her Son

Original sculpture

Madonna with her Son


Felice Tagliaferri
60 cm high, 20 cm wide
Si apre in una nuova finestra

Photo: Maurizio Bolognini. Museo Tattile Statale Omero Archive.


“In the presence of his works, the viewer is not a spectator at a theatre but becomes an actor. It is the artist who wants this, it is the artist who obliges us to do so, because touching and experiencing the material is his way of seeing, living and making art”, Vittorio Spampinato.

The Madonna, in a frontal, standing pose, wears a long robe and a shoulder-length veil that covers her hair. Her dress is enlivened by diagonal folds that spread out from the centre and reach ground to the ground. Only her hands emerge from the wide sleeves of her robe. They are very large, out of proportion to the rest of her body, and hold Jesus close to her breast. The mother looks down lovingly at the naked child nestling in her arms. Baby Jesus shows his right profile to the viewer, and his right arm reaches up towards his mother’s shoulder.

The faces and bodies of the two protagonists are only lightly sketched in, so much so that we can just make out the eye sockets and the nose on Mary’s face, while her mouth is a mere thin line. Jesus’ head also has few features: the outline of his nose and the nape of his neck. Facial expression has been reduced to a minimum in order to emphasize the fusion of the bodies in this single block of smooth, polished marble. A work suffused with the sense of the intimacy of the mother-child relationship.

The sculptor has treated the theme of motherhood several times, in both bronze and marble, in particular the relationship between Jesus and Mary, as in his “Pietà ribaltata” (Overturned/inverted Pietà). Tagliaferri, who is blind, is particularly sensitive to the tactile effects of works; his sculptures, as the artist says, are created to be seen and touched. The sculptor sums up his art in the slogan “Give form to dreams”, being convinced that sculpture is the art form par excellence for uniting the worlds of the sighted and the blind. His sculptures are created without ever being seen. They first take shape in his mind, inspired by stories and memories, then his hands bring them to life, in wood, terracotta, marble or stone.
This work was purchased with a grant from Arcus Spa.