PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
The Madonna and Child attended by a group of saints was an extremely popular subject, particularly in Venice, due to the adaptability of the figures represented, which could be interchanged to suit the requirements of the patron, in a domestic or ecclesiastical context. The setting of the 'holy communion' also became flexible. Having largely been situated within church architecture, in the paintings of artists such as Cima da Conegliano (1459–1517), the sacred company was transported to the pastoral landscape of the Veneto. Such is the case here, although the green curtain behind the Madonna retains a sense of architectural structure and symmetry, a feature common to many of Bonifazio's works most indebted to Palma; see, for example, the painting in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence of the early 1520s.1
1 Inv. no. 84; see B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Venetian School, London 1957, vol. I, p. 42, reproduced vol. II, pl. 1137.
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