Giulio Cesare Procaccini (Copy by) - inv. 3512
The painting takes up a successful composition by one of the leading artists in Milan in the early 17th century: Giulio Cesare Procaccini. He arrived from Bologna at the end of the 16th century, with his brother Camillo, as a sculptor, and began his painting career here. At the beginning of the 17th century, he realised a series of paintings which, together with the altar-pieces of Cerano and Morazzone, are significant in the artistic culture of the times of cardinal Federico Borromeo.
The Virgin affectionately caresses the Child and holds a piece of fruit in her hand, perhaps an apple, an allusion to the original sin that Christ will redeem with his blood. Behind her, two angels and Joseph fill the background, emerging from the darkness. The dark tones of the work are typical of Lombard painting during the early 17th century, as does the light on the central figure, characterised by rapid and painterly thick brushstrokes.