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Macrino d'Alba


ca. 1465 / 1470 in Alba
before 1528 in Alba

4 Works by Macrino d'Alba


This artist, from Alba in the Piedmont, must have been born shortly before 1470. Nothing is known about his artistic training. His earliest surviving signed work is the triptych, dated 1495, depicting a Madonna enthroned, John the Evangelist and John the Baptist, James the Greater, Thomas Aquinas, and two donors, now in the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica in Turin. Like his other paintings probably dating from this time, it betrays the influence of Lombard art, especially that of Ambrogio Bergognone, and of the works of Pinturicchio, in whose Roman workshop Macrino possibly worked up to the early 1490s. In 1496 he delivered a painting of the Virgin, still in the Certosa di Pavia, that depicts the Madonna and Child between the Carthusian saints Hugo and Anselm. In that same year he also created frescoes in the Certosa d'Asti, which have not survived. For the same place in 1498 he produced a triptych, now in the Galleria Sabauda in Turin, showing the Madonna enthroned with John the Baptist, Saints James the Greater, Hugo and Jerome, and angels. In addition to the charterhouses in Pavia and Asti, the Palaeologus court of the margraves of Casale Monferrato was among Macrino's most important patrons. From the late fifteenth century up to the year 1515, when he was replaced in this role by Gian Francesco Caroto, he served the margraves as official court painter. The majority of his signed or signed and dated works fall in this period: the triptych, dated 1499, with a Madonna and Child, Saints Augustine and John the Baptist, and a donor, formerly in the abbey church at Lucedio, now in the palazzo Vescovile in Tortona; the painting with the Madonna and Child, Saints Francis and Thomas, and two female donors, from 1501, now in the Palazzo Comunale in Alba; the triptych from 1503 with an Enthroned Madonna and Child, Saints John the Baptist and James, a bishop saint, and St Jerome in the Santuario Créa near Casale Monferrato; the 1506 altarpiece with Saints Paul and Louis, now in the Galleria Sabauda in Turin; and finally a Nativity, dated 1505, in the New-York Historical Society and another depiction of the same subject, dated 150(8?), in S. Giovanni Battista in Alba. Macrino d'Alba's last known painting, an enthroned Madonna in a private collection, is dated 21 October 1513. It is unknown when the artist died, but in 1528 the writer Paolo Cerraro, likewise from Alba, recalled Macrino in his 'De Virginitate', published in Paris in that year. Macrino's surviving work is dominated by altarpieces, most of the type of the Sacra Conversazione. In addition, a few votive paintings and portraits are attributed to the artist.