Madonna and Child

Artist: Carlo Crivelli (Italian, Venice (?), active by 1457–died 1495 Ascoli Piceno)

Date: ca. 1480

Medium: Tempera and gold on wood

Dimensions: Overall 14 7/8 x 10 in. (37.8 x 25.4 cm); painted surface 14 3/8 x 9 1/4 in. (36.5 x 23.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949

Accession Number: 49.7.5

Description

This perfectly preserved work is one of the artist's most exquisite pictures. Flemish painting may have inspired the remarkable precision of detail in the background, where turbaned figures (infidels) stroll. Trompe-l’oeil details are played against the doll-like prettiness of the Virgin. The apples and fly are symbols of sin and evil and are opposed to the cucumber and the goldfinch, symbols of redemption. Crivelli’s signature is on what looks like a piece of paper attached to the watered-silk cloth with wax.

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