The sculpture by Gaetano Pesce in Santa Maria Novella

Here we have another example of Renaissance Florence being true to itself and highlighting its bond with contemporary art. The choice of location this time is the gorgeous Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, whose relationship to contemporary art has already been spotlighted by the Museo del Novecento, diametrically opposite the majestic, historical facade of the church of Santa Maria Novella, both in its physical placement and its placement in history.

An original sculpture by Gaetano Pesce has been on display in our hotel’s piazza since November 19, 2017.

pesce sculpture

The work is called “Maestà Tradita” and is part of the current exhibition for Pesce in the Museo del Novecento. In the museum you can explore Pesce’s career in the exhibition that will be up until February 8, 2017.


The primary object of Pesce’s work is to show how hard it is to be a woman in a world still dominated by the masculine.

The statue depicts a monumental figure of a woman wrapped in a long cloak, like a contemporary take on the famous “Rucellai Madonna” in the Uffizi. The Maestà Tradita [Majesty Betrayed] is seated on a throne, bearing unmistakable signs of suffering.


Her cloak is also a nude, flayed, scourged body, marked by violence. A large, heavy rusted metal ball is chained to her right foot with a thick chain, a symbol of the slavery that continues to this day in many parts of the world.


The sculpture, to the side of Santa Maria Novella’s facade, seeks to be a monument to the liberation of women; it condemns a masculine world that continues to betray, abuse, and violate the sanctity of women’s bodies, forcing them to bear unbearable experiences of commodification, manipulation and marginalization.


The sculpture deftly contrasts the past and present, and the square’s historical and artistic setting and the striving for the liberation of women.

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