Collection: Madonna and Child with Saints

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Girolamo dai Libri – c. 1520

The saints (left to right) are Catherine of Alexandria, Leonard, Augustine, and Apollonia.

Painted in about 1520 for the Augustinian church of San Leonardo nel Monte outside Verona, the picture was described at length by the sixteenth-century biographer Giorgio Vasari, who especially admired the landscape and enormous laurel tree.

While the Madonna and Child reflect the work of Andrea Mantegna, the distant hill crowned with a fortress and the dead tree are taken over directly from Dürer's well-known engraving of Saint Eustace. The juxtaposition of the dead tree with the flourishing laurel refers to Death and Resurrection, while the peacock is a traditional symbol of immortality.