The Madonna in Art
Two other similar frescoes have been removed to the Academy. They show the same motherly tenderness, the same innocent and beautiful babyhood. The mother holds her child close in her arms, pressing her forehead to his, or bending her cheek to receive his kiss. He throws his little arm about her neck, clinging to her veil or caressing her face.
Besides this group of pictures by Bartolommeo, there are other scattered instances of portrait Madonnas during the Italian Renaissance, by men too great to be tied to the fashions of their day. Mantegna was such a painter, and Luini another. All told, however, their pictures of this sort make up a class too rare to deserve longer description.
A century later, the Spanish school occasionally reverted to the same style of treatment. A pair of notable pictures are the Madonna of Bethlehem, by Alonzo Cano, and the Madonna of the Napkin, by Murillo. Both are in Seville, the latter in the museum, the former still hanging in its orig