The Madonna and Child, with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Michael the Archangel
Siena, about 1485-95
Tempera on wood
John the Baptist, to the left, points to the infant Christ.
His banner proclaims ECCE DEI – ‘Here is [the lamb] of God’. John wears the camel-hair robe which signifies his role as the preacher in the desert who proclaimed the coming of Christ.
Artists in the city of Siena where Matteo worked employed a rich and decorative style. Here, a fine tool was used to create decorative patterns in the gold ground and the elaborate textiles enhance a richly jewelled effect.
Purchased 1944 (No.44.2)