Artist: Bramantino (Bartolomeo Suardi) (Italian, Bergamo (?) ca. 1465–1530 Milan)
Date: before 1508
Medium: Tempera on wood
Dimensions: Overall 13 1/2 x 11 1/4 in. (34.3 x 28.6 cm); painted surface 13 1/2 x 10 7/8 in. (34.3 x 27.6 cm)
Credit Line: John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1912
Accession Number: 12.178.2
The apple, associated with the Fall of Man, here alludes to Jesus: "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons…" (Song of Solomon 2:3). The carnation, too, is associated with love and suggests the Virgin as the emblematic bride of Christ. Bramantino was the most progressive painter in Milan in the early sixteenth century and a follower of the great painter-architect Bramante—the architect of Saint Peter’s in Rome. Typical of his work are the simplified figures and haunting architectural perspective. The surface is unfortunately rather damaged.