BUTINONE, Bernardino Jacopi
(b. ca. 1436, Treviglio, d. ca. 1507)

Madonna and Child

c. 1490
Tempera on panel, 33 x 28 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The form of this painting is almost harsh, as if hammered out rather than modeled, and the contours are as incisive as if they had been scratched into the surface. In part, colour dominates the form and has a perspective function, giving the planes their distance in depth. The overall effect is that of a painted bas-relief, in which the colour is subtle rather than bold. Accordingly, the work reflects the two major influences on Boutonniere: Mantegna and Foppa. At the same time, Butinone reveals his taste for virtuoso detail in the Child's pleated shirt, the hair filleted with red-gold and the mannered gesture of the Madonna's hands as they leaf through the book.