Lucio Fontana’s Mary

One picture of the Virgin Mary.

I visited Rome in early March.  I’ll spare you the details here, but I did want to share one picture. 

It was taken in the Vatican museums, where you can see oodles of treasures, including the Caravaggio Entombment and the Sistine Chapel.  For me, a high point was a short trip through the Vatican Museum Collection of Contemporary Religious Art, a less-visited section of the museum.  Put together by a few forward-looking Popes, it contains many works by little-known Italian artists, including one painting featuring a crucified Christ in a business suit, which I found a bit jarring. 

I was surprised to see how many bona-fide contemporary artists have done a Holy Family or St. Christopher or two, including such unusual suspectMary_by_lucio_fontanas as Max Beckmann and Otto Dix.  The most unusual was perhaps Lucio Fontana, the Argentine/Italian sculptor, best known for thoroughly abstract works involving punctured canvases and globes with erupting holes.  He was given to names like "Spatial Concept."  Here, he shows an unexpectedly lyrical side with this enchanting Madonna.  No idea how this work came to be, but I’m quite glad it did.

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