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Madonna and Child with Two Hermit Saints
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Bernardino Fungai
Italian, early 1480s
Tempera on wood
27 x 18 in.
69.PB.26

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In a typically Sienese manner, Bernardino Fungai mingled elements of Gothic art--a tooled gold background--with the new Renaissance ideas of three-dimensionality. Fungai presented the hermit saints in three-quarter view to display his knowledge of the new concept of foreshortening, yet he retained a typically Sienese interest in decorative patterning, as seen in the Virgin's elaborate drapery. He tilted Christ's painted halo in perspective, but he incised those of the saints and the Virgin into the background. Fungai also effectively employed the characteristic linear harmonies of Sienese art in the gentle contours of the docile Virgin's mantle, the subtle scallops of her white headgear, the fluttery end of Christ's transparent drapery, and the saints' wavy beards.