Il santuario della Madonna della Delibera a Terracina. Dall’edicola rupestre al revival del Medioevo: Virginio Monti e Michele Ridolfi

Autore: Mariella Nuzzo
In: I libri di Viella. Arte.

The sanctuary of the Madonna della Delibera is located in the valley north-west of the city centre of Terracina. The devotion to the Virgin on this side is determined by the erection of a rural aedicule on which a church was build. This church was demolished at the end of the 19th century when was build a new larger sanctuary (1896) on a design by the architect Filippo Liberati. The reference date for the construction of the aedicule is 1417, shown in the inscription below the lunette, depicting the Virgin Enthroned with the Child with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Cesarius, bearing the names of the donors, represented in the lower register. The nineteenth-century sanctuary is decorated, on the initiative of Count Agostino Antonelli, by Virginio Monti (1852-1942), protagonist of the Roman art scene between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the following century. The stylistic register, in line with the numerous pictorial enterprises started during the pontificate of Leo XIII, mediates the recovery of the iconographic and technical tradition of the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance with a graceful decorativism of liberty flavor. The result is a peculiar style in which the recovery of tradition takes on a nostalgic connotation in line with a loyal sentiment towards the papal power. Particular interest is the presence in the Sanctuary of a panel with the Virgin with the Child among Saints signed by Michele Ridolfi (Lucca 1795-1854). He was a painter, restorer and art theorist, whose language reflects the link between the artist and the Nazarene painters’ brotherhood.