Madonna and Child with a Choir of Cherubim (Madonna of Cherubim), 1485 circa
Andrea Mantegna - Tempera on panel - cm 88 × 70
The panel, attributed to Giovanni Bellini until 1885, when Luigi Cavenaghi’s restoration made it possible to recognize the hand of Mantegna, is probably the one that the artist gave to his friend the abbé Matteo Bosso. It came to Brera in 1808 from the Venetian church of Santa Maria Maggiore following the Napoleonic abolitions. The aforementioned attribution to Bellini is explained by the unusually vivid colors and the great tenderness of the Virgin’s expression.
Mantegna was already aging when he painted this work, which despite its title shows both cherubim and seraphim, distinguished by the colour of their wings.