Art@Site unkown Madonna

unkown artist



Ponte del Paradiso
On the side of the arch facing the street, the Madonna protects two worshipers, a nobleman and a woman. The coats of arms on the sides of the Madonna belong to the Foscari (a lion) and Mocenigo families (two flowers). On the side facing the bridge, the Madonna protects one worshiper, a friar. Only the coat of arms of the Foscari family is displayed on this side, twice, one on each side of Mary. The origin and date of this arch are controversial. Some historians believe that the Foscari family commissioned the arch to celebrate the marriage of Pellegrina Foscari and Alvise Mocenigo which took place in 1491. This would date the arch as late XV century. However, the arch is clearly Gothic and more in the style of the XIV or early XV century. In addition, the coat of arms of the Foscari family is next to the man and that of the Mocenigo family next to the woman, contradicting the notion that the woman represents a Foscari and the man a Mocenigo. According to the records, the two houses next to the bridge were rebuilt by the abbot of the church of Santa Maria della Pomposa (near Ravenna) and in 1407 passed to the Foscari and Mocenigo families. According to other historians, the arch would commemorate this event. The image of the friar on the bride side seems to confirm this idea. This would date the arch as early XV century. To add just one more sliver of confusion, a plaque near the arch reads: ‘Arte Gotica, s. XIV’.