Madonna Adoring the Child with Musical Angels
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Bernardino Zenale
Italian, about 1502
Oil on panel
56 1/2 x 33 3/4 in.

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Arms crossed in veneration, a youthful Virgin Mary bows her head and looks solemnly at her infant son. He in turn looks out and makes the sign of benediction toward her. In a strikingly human gesture, an angel gently holds the shoulder and side of the unsteady child, ensuring that he does not topple forward. Angels on either side of the scene play musical instruments; a trio of angels above kneel on a cloud and sing in accompaniment. The scene takes place under a vaulted ceiling supported by pilasters with Corinthian capitals. Bernardino Zenale's modeling of the figures and his depiction of a misty landscape derived from Leonardo da Vinci's style.

This painting was originally the central panel of an altarpiece in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception in San Francesco, Cantù, Italy. The two side panels depicting various saints are now in museums in Milan.