Madonna and Child with Sts. John the Baptist and Elizabeth
Mixed technique on poplar
Inv. No. 853
72 × 90 cm
This painting was produced in Giovanni Bellini’s workshop at the beginning of the sixteenth century based on models provided by the master, who was also involved in its execution. The composition of this half-length “Sacra Conversazione” – or Madonna and saints – was patterned after a (now lost) altarpiece with full-length figures by Bellini, a groundbreaking Venetian master. It was varied to suit the client’s wishes regarding the choice of saints, often using standardized models. In keeping with the notions of the time, these half-length variants were “authorized” by the signature of the head of the workshop himself, even if he had only had a small role in their actual execution.