Andrea Solari, (1460–1524)
Madonna of the Green Cushion, circa 1507
Tempera and oil on poplar wood
Height: 59.5 cm (23.4 in); Width: 47.5 cm (18.7 in)
At the beginning of the 17th century this painting was found in the Cordelier (Franciscan) convent in Blois, but its previous history is unknown. It probably dates to the period of Solario’s stay in France (1507-1510) in the service of Georges d’Amboise; it is possible, however, that the work was painted for the latter’s nephew, Charles II d’Amboise, governor of the Duchy of Milan, upon the artist’s return to Italy.
Madonna with the Green Cushion, a devotional image of the Virgin nursing Jesus, has been so called since the 17th century due to the motif of the green cushion placed on a marble plinth in the foreground. This detail accompanies the scene of family tenderness and well-being. More on this painting
Andrea Solari (also Solario) (1460–1524) was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Milanese school. He was initially named Andre del Gobbo, but more confusingly as Andrea del Bartolo a name shared with two other Italian painters, the 14th Century Siennese Andrea di Bartolo, and the 15th Century Florentine Andrea di Bartolo.
His paintings can be seen in Venice, Milan, The Louvre and the Château de Gaillon (Normandie, France). One of his better-known paintings is the Virgin of the Green Cushion (c. 1507) in the Louvre
Solario was one of the most important followers of Leonardo da Vinci, and brother of Cristoforo Solari, who gave him his first training. In 1490 he accompanied his brother to Venice, where he seems to have been strongly influenced by Antonello da Messina, who was then active in the city. The two brothers returned to Milan in 1493. The Ecce Homo at the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, notable for its strong modelling, may have been painted soon after his arrival.
In 1507 Andrea Solari went to France with letters of introduction to the Cardinal of Amboise, and was employed for two years on frescoes in the chapel of his castle of Gaillon in Normandy.
Andrea’s last work was an altarpiece representing The Assumption of the Virgin, left unfinished at his death and completed by Bernardino Campi about 1576. More on Andrea Solari
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