Madonna and Child with Saints – Ludovico Carracci

Madonna and Child with Saints

We’re continuing our display of appreciation for particular pieces of art as shown through the Met. 

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Artist: Ludovico Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1555–1619 Bologna)

Date: 1607

Medium: Oil on copper

Dimensions: 11 3/4 x 9 7/8 in. (29.8 x 25.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Fisch, 2007

Accession Number: 2007.330

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 623

This exquisite picture was painted for Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani (1554–1621), when papal legate to Bologna. It is a paradigm of Ludovico’s mature style—so different from his early experiments in a naturalistic style. The pose of the Madonna evokes Michelangelo’s sibyls in the Sistine Chapel, while the emphasis on elegance echoes the work of Parmigianino. The stalks of wheat held by the Christ Child are emblems of the Eucharist. The saints are: Bernard, Peter (with the keys to heaven), Andrew (with a cross), Paul (holding a sword), Catherine of Alexandria (with a broken wheel), and an unidentified virgin saint.