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Follower of Bartolomeo Suardi, called Bramantino
Milan, 1465-1530
Madonna and Child, ca. 1500
Oil on panel.
While grounded in the conservative style that dominated the Milanese school before the arrival of Leonardo da Vinci, and conditioned by early Netherlandish painting, this panel incorporates the geometric order that ambitious local painters had begun to derive from this art. William Suida, to whose collection this work belongs, thought it a rare, early work by Bramantino, the most cerebral and rigorous painter of this kind of synthesis. Most charming and anecdotal, it is likely by a close follower. In this subject, both the Child’s conspicuous nakedness and the open book – “the word made flesh” - refer to the Incarnation.