The Madonna del Lazzaretto is one of the masterpieces of the Capuchin Museum: in itself it presents evident elements of art and faith.
Produced by the Florentine workshop of Antonio Rossellino, the circumstances of her arrival in Milan are unknown, but it appears that it was placed under one of the arcades of the hospital to be venerated by the sick. In fact, it seems that it was already in the hospital when the use of this place for the isolation of contagious patients ceased. At this time (after 1633) it was donated to the Capuchin friars of the Convent of Porta Orientale as thanks for the important assistance service carried out inside the hospital.
Subsequently, with the suppression and then the demolition of the convent of Porta Orientale (1810), the tile was acquired by private citizens who were its custodians for about a century. It was therefore in the 1920s that the Capuchin friars of the new convent in Viale Piave received this Madonna and Child as a gift, which they placed in the church choir. Following some adaptations of the choir and presbytery area, the panel with the Madonna del lazzaretto (so called due to its ancient provenance) was transferred first to the convent and then to the deposit of the Capuchin Museum.
In 2007 it underwent a delicate restoration which brought to light the original pictorial film with the decoration rich in gold in many of its parts. The Child is dressed in a green tunic and in his plump hands clumsily holds a goldfinch that refers to the Passion, just as the red coral jewels adorn the neck and left wrist refer to the passion.
The Madonna wears a finely decorated red dress and what is striking is the suffering and at the same time almost detached look at him, with whom she looks at the son she holds beside her. He knows the destiny he will live.