Branchini Madonna Alterpiece Reproduction

  • This miniature gilded wood reproduction of the Branchini Madonna alterpiece by Giovanni di Paolo is handmade in Florence, Italy.

    - Gilded wood
    - Measures 5.5 inches x 12.2 inches 
    - Handcrafted in Florence, Italy
    - Item #: PNLBM

    Object Information:
    Giovanni di Paolo (Italian, 1403–1482) 
    Branchini Madonna, 1427
    Tempera and gold leaf on panel
    182.9 × 99.1 cm (72 × 39 in.)
    The Norton Simon Foundation

    Surrounded by multi-winged seraphim, the Virgin Mary is presented holding the infant Jesus, who reaches tenderly for his mother and slightly touches her diaphanous veil. God the Father above, surrounded by a heavenly host of angels, gestures in both blessing and judgment. The dove representing the Holy Spirit radiates divine light. A variety of luminous effects were achieved with stamping and tooling gold, applying translucent paints over gold, and as a result of the inclusion of glass gems set within Mary’s crown. Seen in candlelight, the whole ensemble would have been spectacularly spiritual. Attention to such natural details as the flowers strewn beneath Mary and the sumptuous fabrics contributes to the overall splendor and the theological message. Roses, carnations, marigolds, and cornflowers, for example, are symbols associated with the Holy Family and the Trinity and interestingly are also elements woven into the textiles. The original painting is in a fine state of preservation; it is rare for a panel of this scale to have survived almost completely intact. The artist inscribed the bottom of the frame in Latin: “Giovanni of Siena son of Paolo painted [this in] 1427.” Additional inscriptions include the opening lines of the Ave Maria and a poignant petition written within Mary’s halo: “I painted this for you, Virgin. Protect this man.”