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Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Bernardino of Siena, ca. 1450

Artist: Pellegrino di Mariano Rossini, Italian (Sienese School), active 1449 - 1492

Medium: Tempera on wood panel

Painting: 23 x 16 1/2 in. (58.4 x 41.9 cm)
Frame: 30 x 21 7/8 in. (76.2 x 55.6 cm)

Credit Line: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Object Number: 61.198

On View

Giuseppi Toscanelli (1828-1891), Pisa (sale, Florence, Sambon, April 9-23, 1883, no.116); Charles Fairfax-Murray (1949-1919), London, in 1914; Achillito Chiesa, Milan; Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi (1878-1955), Rome-Florence, 1937; Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), New York, New York, 1939; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1952 [deaccessioned]; Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York, New York, 1961
Rossini painted frescos and banners, but it was in miniatures and small scale works such as this that the artist truly excelled. Here, the Virgin and child are flanked by John the Baptist, left, and Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444) holding the devotional symbol he carried when preaching. John points to Christ and presents a scroll that reads in Latin: “Behold the lamb of God.” Above, John’s reference to sacrifice is made present through the crucifixion. This is Rossini’s only signed and dated work. The painting was likely commissioned by a follower of Bernardino to honor the local saint’s canonization in 1450.