Madonna col Bambino (c.1490)

Botticelli, Sandro (c.1445-1510)

Madonna col Bambino (The Virgin and Child)
Tempera on panel, 88.9 x 55.9 cm
Fogg Art MuseumCambridge, MA

Botticelli oversaw an active workshop that produced multiple versions of the same composition. The central figures in this painting are a reworking of the Virgin and Child from the San Barnaba altarpiece, one of the most important commissions of Botticelli’s mature period in Florence. They are framed in a pavilion whose perspective is carefully rendered, while in the background, a townscape rises beneath a blue sky. The crisp linearity, idealized facial features, foreshortened halos, and geometric organization of space are characteristically Florentine. The architecture of the buildings, however, is Netherlandish — evidence of the vibrant cultural exchange between Florence and the North during the fifteenth century. Technical studies show that the Christ child originally held a recorder, an unusual attribute that was apparently rejected and painted over with the pomegranate, a symbol of the Passion because of its blood-red seeds. (FAM)


Botticelli, Sandro (c.1445-1510)
Pala di San Barnaba
Galleria degli UffiziFirenze