AUTHOR: Leonardo Corona
CHURCH: Church of Santo Stefano
DATE: 1591-95 ca.
POSITION: first altar on the left (on the map n°81)
METHOD: painted panel
Complete title: Madonna of the Holy Belt with Saints Augustine, Monica, Stephen, Nicholas of Tolentino, and William of Aquitaine.
The altar formerly called the “Great Cross” was granted to the Company or School of the Centurati, a group of the Santo Stefano monastery since 1581, under the name “The Glorious Virgin Mary Consolation and of Father Saint Augustine” on 6th February 1591. This date further validates the other work carried out by Corona.
Rich in Tiziano-like citations, but especially Veronese-like ones, the work was appraised by art critic, Ridolfi (1594- 1658) who wrote: “Leonardo Corona painted very well, using very specific research. Even more so becuase he had many competitors that pretended to imitate him, but who could not help but to praise him; due to this, his self concept grew.”
The composition is two-fold: the upper section with the Madonna of the Holy Belt and the rosary is surrounded by angels; the lower section has five saints and two clerics, among them, the majestic figure of Saint Augustine.
Some elements like Saint Augustine, refer to the composition of another panel that was found behind the altar during the restoration in 1971. The altarpiece is unfinished and mutilated in the upper part, but more than representing a project by Corona who conducted an oil painting on a coarse surface primed with plaster and glue, it is also a rare example of the little-known graphic activity of the artist .