Exhibitions: Renaissance Paintings

Bernardino Luini: Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels

Bernardino Luini and Workshop (Italian, Milanese, circa 1485–1532). Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels, mid-16th century. Oil on panel. Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Martin Joost, Frank S. Jones, L. W. Lawrence, Dick S. Ramsay, John T. Underwood, Henry H. Benedict, Herman Stutzer, F. Healy, Horace J. Morse, Luke V. Lockwood, Henry L. Batterman, Edward C. Blum, Frank L. Babbott, William H. Crittenden, W. C. Courtney, Frederic B. Pratt, H. I. Pratt, Alfred T. White, E. LeGrand Beers, C. D. Pratt, C. J. Peabody, Wallace A. Putnam, and A. Augustus Healy, 16.441

This altarpiece of which this is a direct replica was commissioned from Luini in 1523 for the church of San Magno in the northern Italian town of Legnano. Luini's debt to his contemporary Leonardo da Vinci can be seen in the soft transitions in the modeling of the faces of the Madonna and Child, and in the similar sweetness of the angels' expressions. Artistic mastery is evident not only in the rendering of human form, but also in the bravura handling of the bubble above the Child's hand; only the lightest touches of white paint indicate the reflection of light off the bubble's transparent surface and reveal its presence.