(b. 1582, Parma, d. 1647, Roma)

Madonna and Child with Sts Anthony Abbot and James the Greater

Oil on canvas, 220 x 128 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Giovan Pietro Bellori noted that Lanfranco's altarpiece was painted in a firm and admirable style. This seems especially true of the figure of St James the Greater, who stands to the right. Similar figures can be found in the work of Correggio, but Lanfranco's St James is far more dynamic. His raised left leg and strong contrapposto create a sense of movement which culminates in his upward gaze. The Madonna appears at the upper left holding the Christ Child, who blesses St James. With his right hand St James points to a small bell on the ground in front of him. This is an attribute of the other saint, Anthony Abbot, who kneels with clasped hands, looking up.