BONIFACIO VERONESE
(b. 1487, Verona, d. 1557, Venezia)

Madonna of the Tailors

1533
Oil on canvas, 132 x 152 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Painted for the altar on the ground floor of the Tailors' School near the Jesuit Church in Venice, the canvas depicts St Omobono, patron of tailors, whose great shears (on the pavement at the Saint's feet) help to confirm the work's original location. Flanking the Madonna and Child with St John the Baptist at the centre are St Barbara at the right and, on the left, St Omobono, the latter giving alms to a poor cripple. The date is inscribed in a cartouche just above the picture's lower edge.

With a date of 1533, this is the earliest confirmed work by Bonifacio. Over and above the influence of Palma Vecchio and of Titian's palette, it shows the artist to have been inspired by Mannerist doctrines, which are particularly evident in the treatment of the Saint and of the beggar holding his bowl.