Giovanni da Roma and a lucky Madonna del Latte. Investigation of a terracotta sculpture in the fifteenth century in Lombardy

Arte Lombarda

Giovanni da Roma was a 15th century terracotta sculptor, active between Parma and Cremona, known through a small number of documents and no certain works. The author traces an updated portrait of the coroplast, both with the contribution of unpublished information and by re-reading the data already emerged from the archive research, in the light of the early studies (19th century), passing through the subsequent investigations by Puerari and Mendogni, and finally the more recent ones by Aldo Galli and Marco Tanzi. It is also proposed the attribution to Giovanni da Roma of a Saint Benedict of Nursia, which remained unknown until very recent times and preserved in Parma. The second part of the contribution focuses on a large series of 15th century tiles replicated in a cast depicting the Nursing Madonna: today there are 17 examples, scattered throughout Italy, Germany, France, Russia and Hungary. The author also tries to identify the prototype of the series in an example of the successful composition, known only in photography. Finally, the hypothesis is advanced that also the original composition of the Nursing Madonna is attributable to Giovanni da Roma.

The study involved one of the objects from the project "Donatello and other Renaissance masters: research and conservation".