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Madonna and Child with Two Seraphim
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Madonna and Child with Two Seraphim

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description Nestled in the lap of his adoring mother, the Christ Child sucks his finger and looks out at the viewer. In making direct eye contact with the viewer, the Christ Child seems to be inviting the viewer to join his mother in prayer, an appropriate request given the painting’s original function as the focus for private devotion in a domestic interior. The Madonna’s head is flanked by two seraphs (six-winged disembodied angels) painted directly onto the gold leaf background with simple, dark brown outlines. The gold leaf within these outlines is carefully tooled with a subtle rippling texture that would have created a rich sparkling effect when the painting was lit by candlelight. Probably executed in the early 1490s, the painting is by Piermatteo d’Amelia, who worked mostly in his native region of Umbria (in central Italy) but also in Rome. The juxtaposition of solid, sculptural figures against a flat gold background was common in both regions of Piermatteo's activity.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
1/05/1959Treatmentcleaned; coated; filled; inpainted; other; reconstructed; stabilized; surface cleaned
Provenance Bernard Berenson [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1911 [mode of acquisition unknown [through Berenson]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1911

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1490-1495 (Renaissance)
oil and gold leaf on wood panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Painted surface H: 25 9/16 x W: 17 15/16 x D: 13/16 in. (65 x 45.5 x 2.1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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