Collection: Madonna and Child with Saints

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Ludovico Carracci – c. 1607

This exquisite picture was painted for Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani (1554–1621) when he was papal legate to Bologna. It is paradigmatic of Ludovico’s mature style: the pose of the Madonna evokes Michelangelo’s sibyls in the Sistine Chapel, while the emphasis on elegance echoes the work of Parmigianino. Ludovico thus pays homage to the great figures of the preceding century as the basis of his own Grand Manner.

The stalks of wheat held by the Christ Child are emblems of the Eucharist. The saints are Bernard, Peter, Andrew, Paul, Catherine of Alexandria, and an unidentified virgin saint.