Marco d' Oggiono

Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child by Marco d' Oggiono

Artwork Detail

In 1490 d'Oggiono was staying in Leonardo da Vinci's house in Milan, although he had his own workshop. While never demonstrating the same genius, in many ways d'Oggiono was a better technician, preferring traditional methods to Leonardo's ingenious but highly unstable experiments. Marco made several copies of Leonardo's works, and The Last Supper at Burlington House, London, serves as a reminder of the master's famous painting in its original condition. One can see Leonardo's influence in the composition of the figures in the Madonna and Child. The eye is led to the landscape viewed through the window, a device reminiscent of Leonardo, unlike the curtain behind the Madonna which was favoured by Venetian artists such as the Bellini family and Titian. The parapet on which the child sits traditionally marks a division in temporal space, but this is effectively broken by the draped cloth, which serves as a link to the world of the spectator. The child's gesture to his mother's breast indicates the literal nurturing he gains as an infant, and the Madonna del Latte's symbolism as Mother Church, giving spiritual sustenance to the faithful. Dressed in a contemporary nursing gown she speaks directly to women's experience, and yet ironically, middle-class women's babies were usually fed by wet-nurses in d'Oggiono's time, so that mothers were free to conceive again immediately. (from The Guide, 2001)

Madonna and Child
Marco d' Oggiono
Production date
circa 1490
tempera on panel
655 x 530 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with the assistance of the National Art Collection Fund, 1966
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
On display

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