The Madonna holds the chubby Baby who blesses, establishing a silent but intense dialogue with the viewer. On the sides, two perfectly symmetrical angels, perched on the arms of the throne, are in contemplation of the sacred group, while another two lean over the parapet and present us with a vase full of plump fruits whose forms stand out in the light pouring from above.

The complex Christian symbolism that accompanies the vision is expressed in the flowers and fruits carefully arranged, almost highlighting the solid geometry of the entire compositional structure. The apple held by Jesus at his chest refers to original sin and the redemption of humanity through His Passion, a theme also echoed by the other fruits on the throne and the red rose hanging from the laurel garland. The two lilies with their long stems, on the other hand, symbolize the purity of the Mother, conceived without sin. The throne, imposing in its mass, declares the painter’s knowledge of architectural notions derived from the ancient world, evident in the curling volutes, the alternating marble designs, and the design of the capitals and architrave.

The panel, lacking its original carpentry and in a state of non-excellent preservation, entered the collection of the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in 1988 following its sale by the heirs of Vittorio Cini. Before that, it resided in the DeGoesbriand Memorial Hospital in Burlington, Vermont (United States). To this day, its original provenance is unknown.

The detail of the brush placed in a small vase in the lower left corner of the panel almost seems forgotten there by the painter: in a play between illusion and reality, one could imagine that, with the dark color that can be seen, he inscribed the small painted scroll in which he invokes the protection of the Virgin for himself. Giovanni Angelo d’Antonio da Bolognola, previously known to scholars as the Master of the Annunciation of Spermento (the eponymous panel is preserved in the Pinacoteca di Camerino), painted this work at an advanced stage of his long career. In 1451, he is documented in Florence, a guest of Cosimo de’ Medici, along with the Camerte artist Giovanni Boccati. He stayed in Padua – and his interest in Donatello is evident in our painting – and also engaged with the luminous and perspective painting of Piero della Francesca, as well illustrated by the flesh tones and the powerful volumetry of the figures and the painted architecture.

Author: Giovanni Angelo d’Antonio da Bolognola
Realization date: 1455-1460 ca.
Storage location: Urbino, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche
Place of originConvent of Santa Chiara of Urbino
INV COD:D 6
Dimensions: 141 × 96 cm
Technique: Panel

Author: Giovanni Angelo d’Antonio da Bolognola
Realization date: 1455-1460 ca.
Storage location: Urbino, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche
Place of originConvent of Santa Chiara of Urbino
INV COD:D 6
Dimensions: 141 × 96 cm
Technique: Panel


The Madonna holds the chubby Baby who blesses, establishing a silent but intense dialogue with the viewer. On the sides, two perfectly symmetrical angels, perched on the arms of the throne, are in contemplation of the sacred group, while another two lean over the parapet and present us with a vase full of plump fruits whose forms stand out in the light pouring from above.

The complex Christian symbolism that accompanies the vision is expressed in the flowers and fruits carefully arranged, almost highlighting the solid geometry of the entire compositional structure. The apple held by Jesus at his chest refers to original sin and the redemption of humanity through His Passion, a theme also echoed by the other fruits on the throne and the red rose hanging from the laurel garland. The two lilies with their long stems, on the other hand, symbolize the purity of the Mother, conceived without sin. The throne, imposing in its mass, declares the painter’s knowledge of architectural notions derived from the ancient world, evident in the curling volutes, the alternating marble designs, and the design of the capitals and architrave.

The panel, lacking its original carpentry and in a state of non-excellent preservation, entered the collection of the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in 1988 following its sale by the heirs of Vittorio Cini. Before that, it resided in the DeGoesbriand Memorial Hospital in Burlington, Vermont (United States). To this day, its original provenance is unknown.

The detail of the brush placed in a small vase in the lower left corner of the panel almost seems forgotten there by the painter: in a play between illusion and reality, one could imagine that, with the dark color that can be seen, he inscribed the small painted scroll in which he invokes the protection of the Virgin for himself. Giovanni Angelo d’Antonio da Bolognola, previously known to scholars as the Master of the Annunciation of Spermento (the eponymous panel is preserved in the Pinacoteca di Camerino), painted this work at an advanced stage of his long career. In 1451, he is documented in Florence, a guest of Cosimo de’ Medici, along with the Camerte artist Giovanni Boccati. He stayed in Padua – and his interest in Donatello is evident in our painting – and also engaged with the luminous and perspective painting of Piero della Francesca, as well illustrated by the flesh tones and the powerful volumetry of the figures and the painted architecture.