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Audio Guide - Child

Madonna and Child with Four Saints, ca. 1285

Artist: Master of the Clarisse, possibly Rinaldo da Siena, Italian (Sienese School), active 1265-1300

Medium: Tempera on wood panel

Painting: 39 1/2 x 75 1/4 in. (100.3 x 191.1 cm)
Frame: 39 1/2 x 75 1/4 x 2 3/4 in. (100.3 x 191.1 x 7 cm)

Credit Line: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Object Number: 61.210

Not on view

Palazzo Piccolomini, Siena; possibly Guiseppe Grassi, Rome or possibly Livio Odescalchi (1652-1713), Rome; Pierto Stettiner, Rome; Principe del Drago, Rome; Avv. Lodovico Rosselli, Rome; possibly Voltera and Forti; Dedalo Gallery, New York, New York, May 12,1952 [as Guido da Siena]; Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York, New York, 1961

The Virgin and child are accompanied, from left to right, by Mary Magdalene, Sabinus (a bishop and the patron saint of Siena), John the Evangelist, and Margaret of Antioch. Christ blesses with his right hand and holds a scroll in his left, signifying his deliverance of the word of God, while the group are watched by angels above. The importance of the Virgin and child is emphasized by their enormous scale and central position. This arrangement, combined with the stiff poses and stylized draperies, is influenced by Byzantine icons. The panel was originally a dossal – a work affixed to the top of an altar.