Inside Greeting: Season's Greetings
Contains 6 greeting cards.
Pesellino (Italian), Madonna and Child with Saint John. Tempra on wood panel, about 1455.
Because of the abundant gold, the cost of this panel would have been considerable. It was likely displayed in a home as a precious object and an aid to personal devotion. A gold background symbolized the light of Heaven, and was common for devotional images. Hammered to paper thinness, gold leaf was adhered to the panel with reddish clay (bole), then “punched” and burnished with tools to create designs, such as the rays of the halos and the flowered pattern of the curtains. Pesellino used powdered gold (even more expensive than gold leaf) to paint the detail on Mary’s cloak. Despite the angels and the otherworldly setting, Pesellino’s graceful, young Madonna and chubby, curly-haired infant Jesus—along with Jesus’ youthful cousin John the Baptist—seem more approachable and appealingly human than some earlier Virgin and Child images.