The Madonnina, commonly known as the Madonna of the Streets, was a painting created by Roberto Ferruzzi (1854-1934) and first publicly exhibited in 1897 at an art exhibition in Venice. The models for this painting were Angelina Cian (age 11) and her younger brother. Although not originally painted as a religious picture, this painting became popularized as an image of the Virgin Mary holding her infant son, and has become the most renowned of Ferruzzi's works.
Fate of the original painting
The original painting made its first appearance at an art exhibition in Venice in 1897. John George Alexander Leishman, steel millionaire and diplomat, who died in 1924 in France, bought the painting but not the reproduction rights; he is the last known owner. It is possible that the image entered a private art collection in Pennsylvania the 1950s, but the current location of the original is unknown.
A second possibility is that it was lost at sea in the Atlantic Ocean on a voyage from Europe to the United States.
Although the original has disappeared, it has not hindered the great popularity and usage of the image. Copies of the original are frequently featured on holycards, portraits, and greeting cards.
The following are several notable uses of the image:
- The Madonna of the Streets is featured as a mosaic in Sts. Peter and Paul Church, San Francisco, California.
- Members of the Sisters of Life receive a medal of the Madonna of the Streets at their first profession.
- One source cites her first name as "Angela," but this is probably incorrect
- Cian was her maiden surname and her surname at the time of the painting's creation. She was later married to Antonio Bovo (one source cites Antonio's surname as "Boro," but this is probably incorrect).
- The name and age of this boy are currently unknown to Wikipedia editors
- Madonna of the Streets
- Information about Mary as the "Madonna of the Street"
- The true story behind "Madonnina"
- This information was contributed by a user who apparently was a descendant of Roberto Ferruzzi. If the editors of this article discover more information about this second possible fate of the painting, it will be mentioned in future editions of this article.
- The Madonnina
- Conditions of Sale
- Interior of SS. Peter and Paul Church
- Formation of the Sisters of Life