Madonna with Members of the Pesaro Family (Titian)

Madonna with Members of the Pesaro Family (Titian)

Artist Titian

Date 1526

Movement High Renaissance

Medium Oil on canvas

Dimensions 16′ x 8’10”

Housed at Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice


This work was commissioned by Jacopo Pesaro as an altarpiece for the Santa Maria Glorioso dei Frari. Titian reinvents the traditional sacra conversazione by implementing a side view of the scene; he also implements a great deal of motion in the key figures – note the twisting Mother and Infant, St. Peter turning back upon Jacopo, and St. Maurice, bearing the flag of the Pesaro family and Pope Alexander Vi, looking as if ready to lead a charge. The massive columns symbolize the Virgin herself as the gateway to Heaven; meanwhile, the Cross carried by the angels atop a brooding cloud points to the inevitable Sacrifice.