Image Resources | Currently on View in Italian Renaissance Gallery

Madonna and Child

Giulio Francia (Italian, 1487-1540)

Paintings such as this one were made to stimulate religious contemplation, a pursuit often accompanied by the recitation of short prayers from memory. In this case, the text of a prayer is actually contained in the image. The open book displayed by the Virgin is faintly inscribed with the familiar Marian prayer, the Ave Maria.

Francia's Madonna directly acknowledges the viewer/worshiper with her gaze and presents her naked Child on a ledge that marks the boundary of a sacred realm.

Julian Acampora [died 1958], New York;{1}(John H. Folman Art Gallery, Bronxville, New York) in 1954;{2} to G.H.A. [George Henry Alexander] Clowes [1877-1958], Indianapolis, in 1954, as by Francesco Francia;{3}Clowes Fund Collection, Indianapolis Museum of Art, since 1973 (C10038).

{1}Acampora was a restorer of old master paintings; see obituary in New York Times, 25 April 1958. He is identified as the owner prior to Folman in a letter from G.H.A. Clowes to Folman dated November 1954 in IMA, Clowes Collection Archive.
{2}In 1954 letter cited above.

Object Information

Giulio Francia (Italian, 1487-1540)
creation date
about 1515
oil on panel
25 x 18 in.
accession number
credit line
Courtesy of The Clowes Fund
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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