Matteo di Giovanni, one of the greatest and perhaps the most progressive of the remarkable series of painters of Siena in the fifteenth century, produced many devotional images of the Madonna and Child throughout his long and prosperous career. The simplicity of the present image is, however, more unusual within the artist's œuvre for its omission of the attendant angels or saints usually incorporated into his compositions, and is all the more intimate and devout in feeling for it.
1 Signed and dated 1479; see B. Berenson, Italian pictures of the Renaissance, Central Italian and North Italian school, vol. I, London 1968, p. 260, reproduced vol. II, fig. 811.
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