Antonio Allegri, detto il Correggio
1514 - 1519
Oil on wooden panel, transferred to canvas
The title of this painting also includes a homage to one of the most important founders of the Art Gallery, Count Gian Giacomo Attendolo Bolognini. His Milanese residence was home to almost 200 paintings, all of which he donated to the City of Milan. This particular work presents a subject that was in great demand and widely painted and expanded upon by the great masters of the Renaissance. In this youthful version Correggio builds upon the lessons of Leonardo, particularly the sentimental values, and Raffaello, whose pyramidal composition he assimilated. The marble pilaster recalls the classical world and introduces the intimate and reflective representation which unites the Madonna to the Son and Saint Giovannino through simple gestures and the intensity of their gaze. An equally important role is played by the landscape, which offers a view of what is probably the countryside surrounding the painter’s home town. The nuanced shades of colouring, the intensity of the shadows, the serene composure of the subjects, insinuate a strong religious feeling.