Madonna and Child between Saint Matthew and an Angel by Andrea del Sarto

Madonna and Child between Saint Matthew and an Angel by Andrea del Sarto
Madonna and Child between Saint Matthew and an Angel by Andrea del Sarto
Anonim

This large work (177 x 135 cm) was made by the Florentine artist Andrea del Sarto (1486 – 1530) painting a panel using the oil technique. And it is a work that today is preserved in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Although the author originally painted this work for a banker in the powerful city of Florence during the Renaissance.

Madonna and Child between Saint Matthew and an Angel by Andrea del Sarto

Madonna and Child between Saint Matthew and an Angel by Andrea del Sarto

However, it is interesting to see the journey that this table has made since its execution in 1522. It is known that in 1605 that banker passed into the hands of the Duke of Mantua, traditionally an art-loving family as evidenced for example by the wall paintings of Andrea Mantegna in the Doge's Palace.

Later it is known that the oil was acquired by King Charles I of England. However, shortly after it was sold at auction, where Alonso de Cárdenas bought it for the valid Spanish Luis de Haro. Finally, as a good collaborator of the Spanish monarch, he ended up giving it to King Felipe IV, who arranged for it to be placed in the sacristy of the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial as he recommended his chamber painter Diego Velázquez.

And in that monastery it remained part of the collectionuntil finally, in 1819, it was moved to its current location as part of the holdings of the Madrilenian Museo del Prado.

A complete epic of travel and ownership that is excellently documented. And instead what is not so clear is that it is represented, since there are two interpretations.

On the one hand, it is known by the title that we provide here of the Virgin and Child between Saint Matthew and an angel. Which would be related to the office of its commissioner, since San Mateo was the patron saint of bankers. And the scene seen in the background would be part of the Apocryphal Gospels that recount how Saint John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth fled from the Massacre of the Innocents.

However, there is another interpretation that titled it as Virgin and Child between Tobias and Saint Raphael. Which would be related to the time the work was painted, when the so-called Book of Tobias was being questioned, which is why this image is taken on the side of its authenticity. That would explain why Saint Raphael, who accompanied Tobias on his trip to the East, shows the open book to the child Jesus, and the latter jumped so clearly towards the open book. Which is a very unique scene, and a gesture that would like to corroborate the veracity of those episodes.

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