Description This panel of the Madonna and Child was probably intended for private devotion in a domestic interior. The figures are placed before an elaborately patterned gold cloth of honor, beyond which is visible a cluster of treetops and a starry sky. A carpet embroidered with a pattern of lilies, symbolic of Mary’s purity, unfurls over the steps before her. The Christ Child holds a miniature model of the earth, alluding to his role as the redeemer of all mankind. The volumetric modeling and monumental presence of the figures indicates Andrea di Giusto’s awareness of his Florentine contemporaries Masaccio (1401-1428) and Fra Angelico (ca. 1395-1455). The figures' poses are loosely based on Fra Angelico’s famous fresco of the "Madonna of the Shadows" (ca. 1443) in the convent of San Marco in Florence. For two comparable Madonnas by Andrea di Giusto, probably also dating around 1450, see the panel now at the Museum of Sacred Art in Montespertoli (near Florence) and the triptych in the church of Sant'Alessandro in Incisa Valdarno.
|12/31/1969||Examination||examined for condition|
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 27, as Fra Angelico; 1897 catalogue: no. 97, as school of Fra Angelico]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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