Madonna and Child, probably between 1500 and 1504

By the beginning of the 16th century, Italian painters had mastered the realistic depiction of three-dimensional forms. Cima used a simple composition of firmly modeled, clearly defined volumes for this straightforward presentation of the Virgin and Child. Neither of the figures is idealized; rather, they are portrayed in distinctly human terms. The Madonna, a large-handed peasant woman, is an image of rustic dignity and maternal devotion. The Christ child's nakedness symbolizes innocence and truth. In the foreground, a ledge separates the earthly realm of the Virgin and Child. The landscape is typical of scenery near Cima's native town of Conegliano, in the alpine region of northern Italy.

While Cima is best known for the many half-length Madonnas he painted for Venetian churches and civic buildings, the small size of this painting indicates that it was made instead for a household altar.



da Conegliano, Madonna and Child (#624)
Madonna and Child
Artist Life
Italian (Venice), c. 1459–c. 1517
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.