The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne and an Angel, Carlo Saraceni

Carlo Saraceni (Italian, 1579–1620) 

The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne and an Angel, c. 1608 

Oil on copper 

Gift of Phoebe Cowles, 2004 (12,941.1) 

Painted in oil on copper, this jewel-like composition shows the Virgin Mary engaged in conversation with her mother, Saint Anne, while an attentive angel wraps the sleeping Christ child in a white sheet, an act that foreshadows his burial after the crucifixion. The use of copper as a support for works in oils was a relatively new technique in Rome at the turn of the 17th century, and Saraceni often worked in this medium, especially early in his career. In this work, the copper support allowed Saraceni to create a remarkably detailed composition with a luminous finish quite different from works painted on canvas or wood.
Comments