Andrea Solario - inv. 1612

Andrea Solario (c. 1465-1524)

The Virgin and Child
27,2 x 27,9 cm
1902 donation A. Noseda
Inv. 1612

Lombard Rooms
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The Virgin is nursing her Child seated on a green cushion resting on a parapet. Depicted in profile and looking vivaciously at his mother, the Child seems to be trying to grasp the Virgin’s cloak with his right hand while his left lies on her breast. A large piece of red drapery and a window framing a landscape view make up the background.

The panel is in good condition, except for the landscape where the paint surface is partially worn.

The composition of this work revolves around the central group of the Virgin and Child, interpreted by the artist in gentle harmonious forms that a number of scholars have considered close to the style of Correggio.

Solario painted the Virgin nursing on various occasions during his career. The paintwork in this particular panel has been compared to another work by the artist in the Louvre which shows the same subject: The Virgin with the Green Cushion (1507–1509/1510). This reference to the famous painting in the Paris museum has led to the different dates proposed for the work in question here, which scholars today place to about 1510–1512.

At that date Solario might also have been inspired by Raphael’s renowned innovations; furthermore, the softness of the figures and the compositional harmony of the Poldi Pezzoli work seem to show the influence of another encounter with Leonardo, which may well have occurred when Solario returned to Milan, after 1509.