The Holy Family with Saint Mary Magdalen  1500

by Andrea Mantegna

The composition of this late picture by Mantegna was inspired by Roman funerary reliefs, which accounts for the combination of austerity and sweetness. It is painted in distemper rather than oil, allowing the artist to give strong definition to the forms. Originally, the colors would have had a freshness and clarity. However, the picture has suffered from past cleanings an...
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art