Tondo with the Assumption of the Virgin
18th century, Terracotta
This round terracotta bas-relief depicts the Virgin in ascent, seated on clouds, accompanied by angels, cherubs, and putti. An engraved ray of light emanates from a grouping of clouds at the top of the tondo. The work can be traced back to the flourishing market of terracottas used for domestic devotion documented in Emilia and Romagna from the 16th century onwards. In the small clay picture, the anatomy of the putti and angels is naïve at times; the proportions of the jewelry adorning them are also arbitrary; the definition of their wings is somewhat hasty. Although without precise reference, the entire composition appears linked to the influence of Reggio Emilia on seventeenth-century Bolognese painting. This tondo attests to the development of the production of devotional terracottas during the Baroque period far beyond the most up-to-date centres or workshops, and encourages further study of an artistic personality who was perhaps excluded from the great commissions, but was nevertheless deferential in a personal way to the work of the most renowned local masters.