Only two dated works by the artist are known to us, the Madonna and Child with Saint Mary Magdalene of 1496 in the Museo Correr, Venice, and the Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist of 1502 now in a private collection.4 The present painting is perhaps best compared with the earlier picture in which the heavy, volumetric drapery forms are offset by the delicate features and gestures of the figures and the refined, crystalline landscape beyond. The composition, while individual, is reminiscent of Cima’s Virgin and Child before a Landscape (fig. 1) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (inv. no. cat.176), dating to circa 1485 – 1486 and with which Pasqualino would doubtless have been acquainted. The position of the Madonna here, the inclination of her head, the grip of her right hand and the Christ Child’s left foot, planted firmly on his mother’s knee, all recall Cima’s earlier invention. In keeping with Bellinian convention, the Madonna and Child are positioned behind a parapet, accentuating their elevated status in contrast to their viewer. Between graceful fingers, the Madonna holds a small quince, symbolizing rebirth and renewal, and a prophetic sign of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection.
1. R. Palluchini, under Literature, op. cit.
3. P. Humfrey, “Pasqualino Veneto (Pasqualino da Venezia)”, in Grove Dictionary of Art, J. Turner ed., vol. 24, London and New York 1996, p. 231.
4. For the Private collection picture see R. Pallucchini,‘Un’altra aggiunta a Pasqualino Veneto”, in Storia dell’Arte, vol. 38-40, 1980, pp. 215–16.
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