(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

Bridgewater Madonna

c. 1507
Oil on canvas transferred from panel, 81 x 56 cm
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

Technical studies of the painted surface during restoration indicate that the scene was at first set within a landscape. Its elimination and replacement with a dark interior setting assures an absolute focus on the two figures, with dramatic emphasis on the contrasts of light and dark. The body of the Child in particular is carefully modelled to achieve a solid, volumetric effect, giving it a sculptural quality. The sculptural solidity and the double torsion of the Child was probably influenced by Michelangelo's Taddei Tondo.