(b. 1397, Padova, d. 1468, Padova)
Virgin and Childc. 1460
Poplar panel, 82 x 70 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin
The Paduan Francesco Squarcione is best known in history and perhaps in his own time as well, as a skilled and effective teacher; his most famous pupil was Andrea Mantegna. Squarcione, who was also instrumental in having given impetus to the Ferrarese School, recognized the importance of having knowledge of the new works then being produced in Florence. In this Madonna and Child, mannered to be sure, he seems have turned to Tuscan sculpture for the motif of the full-length nude Christ Child seen with the truncated Mary. There is a near surreal flavour to his vision, as exemplified by the apple on the window sill and the huge candle holders in the landscape.