Lamentation Sculptures


The Lamentation of the Dead Christ is a recurring subject in art, especially from the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. An admirable version was produced by Giotto for the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua but this type of iconography achieved its best effects in sculpture. Artists working in stone, wood and terracotta were able to confer realistic effects on the statuary using polychrome decoration. A group by Niccolo dell’Arca (Bologna) and another by Mazzoni (Naples) are well known, while in Piedmont it is worth remembering the Moncalieri Lamentation of Santa Maria della Scala and the group from Santa Maria Maggiore’s Assunta church in Val Vigezzo (now found in Turin’s Museo Civico). The Assunta opus, now on display in Turin’s Museo Civico, is in painted poplar and thought to have been made by Domenico Merzagora in the late 15th–early 16th century.

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