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John Palcewski's Journal

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Sant Antonio di Padova

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I revisited the church of Sant Antonio di Padova near Ischia Ponte and saw that the altarpiece fresco "Madonna of Mercy" had been obliterated from its frame, along with smaller frescos depicting women saints. It looked very much like what Egyptians did to images of past rulers who had had fallen out of favor--they were simply chisled out of existence. I learned from a friendly priest, however, that the works had been sent off for restoration, and would return in a year. Or two. These things take time.

In the sacristy I saw that another fresco, very likely by the same artist who had done the "Madonna of Mercy," was still in place.

Below is the fresco. Renaissance poet Vittoria Colonna is at bottom right, along with her aunt by marriage, Costanza d'Avalos. Above is a woman who, for a small donation, agreed to pose for me.

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Don't worry, John! The fresco is under fixing. It needed a restoration.

Is the first photo of the image that is removed for restoration? I see a madonna head in the remnants. or, i am looking at a mosaic that is the madonna.

No, the photo shows a large frame flanked by two smaller ones. All three frescos had been removed for restoration, leaving the unfinished wall behind. The color photo at the end shows how it looked when I photographed it, when it was still in place.

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