Adolfo Wildt

Maria dà luce ai pargoli cristiani

The Maria dà luce ai pargoli cristiani bas-relief was exhibited in 1918 at the Brera Fine Arts Exhibition to notable success. Modern critics acknowledge Wildt as the artifice of a change, a transition from Gothic inspiration to the Tuscan sculpture of the Quattrocento, from Desiderio da Settignano to Mino da Fiesole. The work was greeted with similar popularity when it was displayed at Galleria Pesaro in 1919.

Wildt sculpted three marble versions of the bas-relief in its entirety now all in private collections, the first of which is owned by the Carraro Foundation. In 1919, he isolated the head of the Virgin alone and the group of children in order to make replicas in marble and bronze. The theme of maternity was dear to Wildt, who favoured an allegorical transfiguration over a naturalistic-descriptive approach. Different models and iconographies in his Madonna con Bambino and Vergine della Misericordia converge, from the Jefte Tree to the Trinity represented by three fetuses held in the branches.


Adolfo Wildt 1868-1931, Arnoldo Mondadori Arte, Milan 1989, exhibition catalogue (Venice, Ca’ Pesaro, December 8, 1989 – March 4, 1990), pages 169- 170; Elena Pontiggia (editor), Adolfo Wildt e i suoi allievi: Fontana, Melotti, Broggini e gli altri, Skira, Milan 2000, exhibition catalogue (Brescia, Palazzo Martinengo, January 23 – April 25, 2000), pages 64-65, 174; Paola Mola (editor), Wildt. L’anima e le forme, Silvana Editrice, Cinisello Balsamo 2012, exhibition catalogue (Forlì, Musei San Domenico, January 28 - June 7, 2012), pages 176-178 (with previous references); Adolfo Wildt. Le dernier symboliste, Skira, Paris 2015, exhibition catalogue (Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie, April 15 – July 13, 2015, Milan, Galleria d’arte moderna, October 30, 2015 – January 30, 2016), fact sheet by Omar Cucciniello, pages 128-131 (with previous references).

Adolfo Wildt
80.5×63.5×9 cm