MASTER of the Castello Nativity
(active 1445-1475 in Florence)
Madonna and Child1448-50
Oil on wood, 70 x 47 cm
Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover
The sources of inspiration for this painting are Filippo Lippi and Luca della Robbia. The delicately featured Virgin is shown standing in front of a marble niche, reading from a devotional book. Her pose and attitude are those of the Annunciate Virgin and must have been taken from an altarpiece like that painted by Filippo Lippi for the convent of Le Murate in Florence. The child mischievously slips his right hand into his mother's dress while in his left hand he holds a pomegranate (symbolic of the church). His active engagement of the viewer and the manner in which he raises one leg, pushing against his mother's arm, are motifs that belong to the repertory of Luca della Robbia.