Bernardino Luini - inv. 1577
Part of a larger composition, this painting shows Saint Anthony of Padua with a lily and a big red book in his hand, standing in front of a gold pilaster and a blue sky partially screened by the branch of an orange tree. It was most probably part of a large altarpiece, of unknown provenance, of which a further three panels have been identified. These depict a martyr saint, previously in W. Leatham's collection in London, a Saint Catherine of Alexandria and a Saint Bernardino of Siena from the parish church of San Carlo a Magadino in Canton Ticino. The predominance of Franciscan saints might indicate that the work was commissioned by that order. In stylistic terms, the Poldi Pezzoli painting is characterised by vivid colouring and by great formal and compositional rigour. It belongs to Bernardino Luini's early phase and can be dated to the years 1510-1512. C.d.C.