Perugino, Madonna del Sacco, ca. 1495-1500, Galleria Palatina, Florenz
Perugino, Mitteltafel des Certosa di Pavia Polyptychons, ca. 1496-1500, National Gallery, London
The composition and style of this small-format devotional picture are closely related to Perugino’s earlier autograph works. The figure of the Virgin kneeling in the centre of the composition, the Christ Child propped up by a white bolster, the naked infant Saint John and even the wide landscape, complete with ox and ass, were lifted from different compositions by the master and reassembled. The work most closely parallels the Madonna del Sacco (Galleria Palatina, Florence). This kind of recombination of workshop cartoons and drawings was not unusual at the time – even great masters, Perugino included, often fell back on their own pool of drawings and replicated the most popular elements.