Madonna with Child and Saints
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Madonna with Child and Saints

Tiziano Vecellio
(Pieve di Cadore, circa 1490- Venice 1576)
Madonna with Child and Saints
(called Madonna of the Frari), 1533-35
oil on wood transferred onto canvas
cm. 388 x 270
cat. 40351

The large altarpiece of Madonna with Child and Saints was painted between 1533 and 1535 for the church of S. Niccolò della Lattuga in Campo dei Frari at the Lido of Venice, better known as St Niccolò dei Frari. It was purchased by pope Clement XIV for the pontifical palace of the Quirinale (1770 circa) in Rome, where it appears to have never been exhibited. It was however in S. Pietro in Montorio and in 1797 it was brought to Paris. Since 1820 it has been in the Vatican Art Gallery of Pius VII. The painting, originally arched (that is to say, curved in the upper part, where the dove of the Holy Spirit was portrayed) shows the Virgin with the Child Jesus and angels on the clouds and below Sts Catherine, Nicholas, Peter, Anthony, Francis and Sebastian in prayer. This masterpiece is a work of the full maturity of the artist who, having overcome the early teachings of Bellini and Giorgione, now appears as an independent and fully established personality, so much so as to be considered the main painter of Venice.