Costabili Polyptich

Garofalo (Benvenuto Tisi) e Dosso Dossi (Giovanni Luteri)


Oil on panel, 960 x 577 cm

Commissioned by Antonio Costabili the ambassador for the Este family and Judge of the Twelve Sages, the highest communal magistrate, the polyptych was started by Garofalo and the young Dosso in 1513. In 1523 the painting was already located at the high altar of the church of the Augustinian convent of Sant’Andrea, the burial place of the ancient and noble Costabili family. The stylistic analysis of the work seems to indicate that Garofalo was compositionally responsible for the central panel, the verticality of the throne, the pyramidal scheme of the Madonna and child with several other figures. The painterly qualities of the majority of the central panel and some of the other panels seem to point to the hand of Dosso. Recent scientific analysis has not only confirmed Dosso’s overpainting and re-elaboration of figures that had already been painted by Garofalo, but also support the hypothesis that the work was initially conceived as a single panel and it was only in a later intervention that it was turned into a polyptych with side panels.