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Madonna and Child with Six Saints

Artist/Maker: Sano di Pietro (Italy, 1405-1481)

Date: ca. 1460-1480
Medium: tempera on wood
Sight: 21 1/4 x 16 5/8 in. (54 x 42.2 cm)
Framed: 30 x 26 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (76.2 x 67.3 x 8.9 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of The Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Object number: 61.012.000
DescriptionThe Madonna and Child with Six Saints is one of many paintings of this subject produced by Sano di Pietro and his workshop. The composition is ultimately derived from the work of the fourteenth-century Sienese artist Ambrogio Lorenzetti (active 1319-1347). Sano repeated the pattern throughout his career with only slight variations in the posture of the mother and child, and in the choice of flanking figures. Here, the saints depicted (from left to right) include John the Baptist, Peter Martyr, a female saint who may be Catherine of Alexandria, Anthony of Padua, Francis of Assisi, and Jerome. The size, format, and imagery of the Madonna and Child with Six Saints suggest that it served as a devotional altarpiece in a private home or a chapel. Sano di Pietro’s use of a gold background, his reliance on linear drawing, and his emphasis on the decorative aspects of the composition and typical stylistic features of the Sienese school of painting, which maintained later Gothic artistic traditions well into the fifteenth century.
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