Holy Family

Dear Maestro:


I am happy to inform you that your two statues which form part of the “Great Creche” in ceramics (The Holy Virgin holding the Child, and St. Joseph) were greatly admired by His Holiness Pope John Paul II when it was displayed in the “Hall of the Swiss Guards” at the Papal Villa of Castel Gandolfo (Rome).


There is great cause for satisfaction for all involved. It attests to the high artistic standards that you and your colleagues have achieved. Furthermore, it demonstrates what a positive creative influence your stay in Faenza was, the results of which I highly compliment you.

“… work full of sensitivity and grace, in particular the grouping of the three figures aimed at giving the impression of fluidity of material in an ascending spiral: the right foot of the Madonna and her left knee, exaggeratedly lowered, creates a line which rises through the figures up to the head of Saint Joseph. The spiral line is used as a binding spring relating the figures one to the other. though individual, the artist reveals his rooted inclination for classic formulas.
The large statues of the Big Presepio … present a development of themes which were already noted in the model; above all the ascending spiral embracing the figures binding them together.”

“In the large statues, Bonaiuto has had the possibilities of deeply developing his personages both physically and psychologically. Saint Joseph is a strong solid young man, aware of the task set before him and fully able to cope with it, but he is also sad and melancholy as  human being would in front of the miracle of birth, he is deeply disturbed and trembles at an event which he cannot be apart of but to which he must assist, even more so this Joseph in front of a birth more miraculous than others.”

Elisabetta Ricca Rosellini – “La Pie’ of Forli” – March-April Edition No. 2 1983

“The figure of the Virgin Mary is also deeply developed; she is a Madonna strongly attached to her child, stretching toward him and almost falling in the effort: she is not young, but she is not old either, she has simply matured at the knowledge of what has been entrusted to her. Like all mothers she is deep in thought looking at the life which has come from her, and in this moment of intense happiness she senses if not a foreboding of sorrow (every artist has always longed to capture this emotion in the faces of their young Madonnas) an undefined fear for the years to come.”

All images are under copyright © Sandro Boniauto