Madonna and Child

Gentile da Fabriano

Fabriano c.1370 – Rome 1427


Tempera on wooden panel, 58 x 48cm

This panel arrived at the Pinacoteca in 1973 along with other works donated by the heirs to the Vendeghini-Baldi Collection. In 1981 restoration work removed numerous layers of overpainting, allowing the panel to be recognised definitively as the work of Gentile da Fabriano. It can be traced back to the artist’s stay in Venice during the 1420s when, in awe of Michelino da Besozzo’s Gothic Lombard style (active in Venice as a painter and miniaturist around 1404), he absorbed elements of the artist’s work into his own. This small panel shows Mary holding the Christ Child in her arms, his figure skilfully twisted so that his upper body cuts diagonally across the upright Virgin. These two figures stand out against the painstakingly prepared golden background, rendered with an intense naturalism that was probably inspired by Lombard artworks.