MANTEGNA, Andrea
(b. 1431, Isola di Carturo, d. 1506, Mantova)

Madonna of the Cherubim

c. 1485
Panel, 88 x 70 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Until 1808 the painting was in the convent of Santa Maria Maggiore, Venice, where Sansovino saw it.

This exquisite painting of the Virgin set against a sky thick with clouds and cherubs shows the influence of Giovanni Bellini's palette. In fact it was attributed to Bellini until Cavenaghi restored the picture in 1885. As the panel appears to have been cut down on the sides, its original composition is debatable. The painting may have been commissioned by the Duchess of Ferrara; the intensely human face of the Madonna would be suitable in a work intended for private devotion.




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