SANO di Pietro
(b. 1406, Siena, d. 1481, Siena)

Virgin and Child with Saints and Two Angels

Tempera on wood, gold ground, 62 x 40 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Sano di Pietro was a popular and highly prolific Sienese painter and illuminator, whose workshop produced numerous devotional images of the Madonna and Child, frequently shown in bust-length and accompanied by saints and angels.

In the present work the Christ Child holds a goldfinch symbolizing the Resurrection, while resting his left hand on the embroidered collar of the Virgin's dress. They are accompanied by Sts Jerome, Bernardino, John the Baptist, Anthony of Padua, and two angels. The design for the heads of the Virgin and Child reappears with some frequency in paintings by Sano's workshop, suggesting the use of a cartoon (full-scale drawing) to transfer the image. The frame is carved in five sections and engaged to the panel. The same punch tools used to decorate the frame were employed in the halos of the saints and angels.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.