Churches >  Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Pesaro Altarpiece

Author: Tiziano Vecellio
Century: XVI°
DATE: 1519-26 POSITION: left nave - fourth altar (on the map n°4) MEASUREMENTS: 485 x 270cm METHOD: oil painting

The Pesaro altar, succumbed to the noble family in 1518, was already dedicated to the Immaculate Conception in 1361; for this reason the altarpiece has a double task of illustrating the theme of Mary and to glorify the client family, commissioned by Jacopo Pesaro in 1519.

The Virgin is seated on a high pedestal with a white veil that envelops the Child: it is foreshadowing of the funeral shroud that will cover both. Above, the two angels hold aloft a dark cross explicitly refering to the same theme.

To the left, a portrait of Jacopo Pesaro kneels in prayer and behind him a soldier holds the flag of Pope Alexander VI and next to him leans a Turk wearing a turban. It is the celebration of the naval victory at the Battle of Santa Maura (1503) reported from Pesaro, commander of the papal fleet, of the Ottoman navy.

In the foreground, Jacapo's family is depicted featuring his brothers Francis, Antonio, Fantino and Giovanni and his nephew Leonardo; above them Saint Francis addresses the child while on the other side, Saint Peter mediates Jacopo's prayer to the Virgin.
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