Madonna col Bambino tra due sante (c.1490)

Bellini, Giovanni (c.1430-1516) & Workshop

Madonna col Bambino tra due sante (The Virgin and Child between two Saints)
Oil on panel, 77 x 104 cm
Museo del PradoMadrid

The Virgin holds the Christ Child in her arms, flanked by two saints in a Sacra Conversazione. The saint on the left has been identified as Mary Magdalene and the one on the right as either Saint Ursula, carrying the arrow of her martyrdom. Expect for the figure of the Child, the others are represented in three-quarters with green curtains in the background. This work belonged to the collection of Felipe V (1683-1746). This panel repeats the composition of the Sacra conversazione in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. It is, however, smaller and while the saint on the right is Mary Magdalen in the Venice version, here she is Saint Ursula. This picture includes a marble parapet with the artist’s signature, which does not so much indicate that Bellini painted it himself as that it reached the approved level of quality for a work from his studio. (MNP)