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The Madonna with Saint Lorenzo Giustiniani and a Venetian Nobleman

This intimate devotional piece depicts Saint Lorenzo Giustiniani presenting a Venetian nobleman to the Madonna and Christ Child, surrounded by a host of child-like angels. Unusually painted on black marble, as opposed to canvas or wood panel, the contrast between the candlelight that illuminates the central figures, and the darkness of their surroundings creates impact and drama. At the time of this painting’s creation, Lorenzo Giustiniani was not yet canonised (he would be made a saint in 1690); however, he was highly regarded by the residents of his hometown of Venice. Giustiniani was considered the first Patriarch of Venice and known for his power of intercession, the ability to speak with the Virgin Mary. 

Until 1974, this painting was attributed to Alessandro Turchi (1578-1649), an Italian painter who worked in Verona and Rome and was known for his soft style. Today, the painting is thought to be by the Veronese painter Pasquale Ottino (1578-1630). Turchi and Ottino studied under the same master, Felice Riccio (1542-1605), who was known in Italian as 'Il Brusasorci', and were both known to experiment with painting on a variety of painting surfaces such as copper, canvas, and stone. 

Currently on display

Pasquale Ottino
Gallery 1
49.5 x 26 cm
Oil on marble
Bourgeois Bequest, 1811
Accession number