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Record Image
Garofalo (Italian, b.1481, d.1559), Artist
Madonna and Child Enthroned
oil on wood
575 x 440 mm sight size; 915 x 775 x 85 mm frame size
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Bequeathed 1967 by Mrs Doris Monheimer.
Finely executed, this modestly sized, stylish and highly finished work has a rich depth of colour, smooth surface and delicately painted details, achieved through the use of oil paint on wood. Garofalo was a pupil of the Cremonese artist Boccaccio Boccaccino, and this picture shows similarities to the latter’s style in its delicacy and sweetness, its delight in painted draped fabrics and its minute rendering of the details of contemporary architecture and costume. At the same time, however, it also reflects the style of Raphael, whose work Garofalo saw after he visited Rome around 1513. Its domestic scale, and the inclusion of the armoured men flanking the Madonna and Child, suggest that this painting may have been a commissioned work, intended for private devotion and pleasure.
Many of Garofalo’s works can still be found in Ferrara, where he was born, and in the area around the Po River delta in the north of Italy, where he was most active. He completed major commissions for churches and private apartments of notable citizens in Ferrara, including the notorious Lucrezia Borgia, whose apartments in the Palazzo di Schifanoia he decorated around 1506. Most of his mature works, from about 1514 onwards, were commissions on a very large scale, with complex figure compositions inspired primarily by the Classicism of Raphael, and although this painting would be dwarfed by comparison with them, it is still a fine example of its type by the artist. The ornate gilded Rococo frame around the work is probably Bolognese and dates from the 17th century

not on view

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