Master of the Bertoni Altar Piece, Virgin with Child, putti playing musical instruments, St. John the Evangelist and the Blessed Giacomo Filippo Bertoni

Master of the Bertoni Altar Piece,
Virgin with Child, putti playing musical instruments, St. John the Evangelist and the Blessed Giacomo Filippo Bertoni

Master of the Bertoni Altar Piece, Virgin with Child, putti playing musical instruments, St. John the Evangelist and the Blessed Giacomo Filippo Bertoni
After 1483, wood, 136.5×200 + frame 22 cm, Inv. n. 175

The large painting of the Virgin on a throne with child, enlivened on the sides by four angels playing musical instruments, with St. John the Evangelist to the right and a portrayal of the blessed Giacomo Filippo Bertoni (who died in May 1483 from tuberculosis and was immediately honoured in the city) genuflecting on the left is a work that testifies to an interest in and appreciation of the culture of Ferrara.

This is particularly evident in the background landscape, rocky and fluvial, dotted with buildings and figures of an obvious naturalistic and symbolic value, the reference to Francesco Del Cossa is so strong that Anna Tambini wrote that she could «assume that he frequented del Cossa’s workshop or even used his sketches».

The attribution of this work, defined by Ennio Golfieri as being «singularly admirable and enigmatic», indicating Ferrara’s Lorenzo Costa the as the potential artist, has always been complex. Traditionally, this painting was attributed to Leonardo Scaletti, an artist from Faenza.
Anna Tambini has recently proposed that the author may be Giovanni Orioli of Faenza, known for the portrait of Lionello d’Este, which is now at the National Gallery in London.
The date of the painting was gathered from the date of Bertoni’s death (1483).

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