Jacopo Bassano (Jacopo Da Ponte)
Madonna and Child in Glory and Saints Agatha and Apollonia

Oil on canvas
Museo Civico, Bassano del Grappa, Italy

As usual, Mary wears a red robe and blue mantle. In the 15th and early 16th century, the child was pictured completely naked, but later images gave him at least a length of cloth for his midsection.

Each of the saints holds her attribute on a silver paten: for Agatha, the breasts that the torturers cut from her body; for Apollonia, the teeth that they pulled from her mouth. Apollonia also holds the tooth extractor that is her more usual attribute.

Two books lie at the feet of the saints, as if to express their inferiority to direct contemplation of the divine. Of even less value are material possessions, symbolized by the chest half-hidden behind Agatha's back. The chest most likely refers to the blandishments of Aphrodisia and her daughters in the Golden Legend, who "made to her great promises of temporal goods" if she would yield her virtue to the provost Quintianus.

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Read more about images of the Madonna and Child.
Read more about images of St. Agatha.
Read more about images of St. Apollonia.

Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.