Giannicola di Paolo
- Giannicola di Paolo
- The Madonna and Child in a landscape
- oil on panel, unframed
- 24 1/4 by 18 1/2 in.; 61.6 by 47 cm.
In the present collection since at least 1963.
Rather than directly copying Perugino’s paintings, the artist likely made his own drawings from his master’s modelli while working in his studio. For example, the design of Giannicola’s impressive Ognissanti altarpiece of 1506, now in the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, Perugia (inv. no. 323), derives from Perugino’s San Pietro Ascension composition, though the figures are different, suggesting they are of his own invention. Similarly, while the present Madonna is not a direct copy, the composition is evidently based on the central figures from the Madonna and Child attributed to Perugino in the Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples.3 Rather than show the figures full length, Giannicola ends the composition at the Madonna’s knees and excludes the figures in the background. The Christ Child is heavily reliant on Perugino’s design, while the face of the Virgin is painted very much in Giannicola’s own idiom. The features are sweeter and less linear and the flesh appears softer and rounder.
1. C. Higgitt, M. Spring, A. Reeve and L. Syson, ‘Working with Perugino: The Technique of an Annunciation attributed to Giannicola di Paolo,” in National Gallery Technical Bulletin, Renaissance Siena and Perugia 1490-151, vol. 27, 2006, p. 99.
3. C. Castellaneta and E. Camesasca, L’opera completa del Perugino, Milan 1969, p. 122, cat, no. 259, reproduced.