TURA, Cosmè
(b. ca. 1430, Ferrara, d. 1495, Ferrara)

Madonna with the Child Enthroned (panel from the Roverella Polyptych)

Oil on wood, 239 x 102 cm
National Gallery, London

The Roverella Polyptych is considered as one of Tura's most important work. Originally it was located in the church of San Giorgio fuori le Mura in Ferrara where it was partially destroyed by a bomb in 1709. It was commissioned by Lorenzo Roverella, bishop of Ferrara, earlier the physician of Pope Julius V. Lorenzo Roverella was pictured on the left (destroyed) part of the altarpiece.

According to the most accepted version of reconstruction the Madonna Enthroned constituted the central panel, a fragment showing St George belonged to the left panel, while on the right a panel representing Niccolò Roverella, the brother of the bishop and general of the monastery to which the church belonged, with two saints was located. On top of the altarpiece there was a Pietà. Below, on the predella there were seven circular scenes illustrating the early life of Christ. Four of these scenes are lost.

On the central panel the Madonna is sitting among angels playing on musical instruments. The restoration in 1951-52 found an inscription on the case of the organ, mentioned by contemporary sources, containing a dedication to Roverella in Latin.