Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child

Giulio Francia (Italian, 1487-1540)

Currently on View in C205
Image Licensing

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, New York; {1} (John H. Folman Art Gallery, Bronxville, New York) in 1954; {2} George Henry Alexander Clowes (1877-1958), Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1954, as by Francesco Francia; Clowes Fund Collection, Indianapolis, since 1958 and on long-term loan to the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1971 (C10038); given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2017.

{1} Acampora was a restorer of old master paintings; see his obituary, New York Times, 25 April 1958. He is identified as the owner prior to Folman; see letter from G.H.A. Clowes to Folman, November 1954, File C10038, Clowes Registration Archive, Indianapolis Museum of Art.
{2} See 1954 letter cited above. John Henry Folman [1905-1981] born Johannes Hendricus Folman in the Netherlands, emigrated to the United States in 1931.

Object Information

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

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