MASTER of Pratovecchio
(active 1435-1455 in Florence)

Madonna and Child

Tempera on wood, 99 x 70 cm
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge

Although in the 1440s Filippo Lippi explored a variety of solutions for showing the Madonna and Child within or against an architectural niche, with the Child resting on a parapet - the finest example is that in Washington - in none of these is there a similar illusionistic intent, with the parapet and tabernacle window conceived as though projecting into the viewer's space. The point of reference for the author of this painting was certainly Donatello' Pazzi Madonna.

The artist of this picture certainly spent time in the workshop of Filippo Lippi: the spherical heads and curiously boneless hands relate to Lippi's works of the late 1430s - especially the Tarquinia Madonna and the Barbadori Altarpiece.