The National Gallery in Prague exhibits the Virgin and Child by Andrea del Sarto, a prominent painter of Italian Renaissance, on loan from the Opočno Castle. The exhibition Cranach from All Sides is now complemented with a pair of altar wings on loan from the Olomouc Archbishopric, painted by Cranach and his workshop for the highly influential Bishop Stanislav Thurzo.
The small exhibition Andrea del Sarto - Madonna and Child, placed on the second floor of the Sternberg Palace, introduces the work of important Florentine painter, Andrea del Sarto (1486–1530), whose painting of the Virgin and Child from the Opočno Castle has been recently restored. “For a long time, it was assumed the painting was a copy – del Sarto is among the most frequently copied painters and the Opočno Madonna itself has an incredible number of 34 extant copies. Restoration helped reveal some high-quality and artistically lively places in the otherwise rather damaged painting, rehabilitating this exceptional piece and placing is back within the sum of del Sarto's oeuvre,” says the curator Andrea Steckerová.
Thanks to the outstanding loan of the pair of altar wings from the Olomouc Archbishopric, the National Gallery visitors will get an idea of how Lucas Cranach imagined Paradise. The paintings will remain in the exhibition Cranach from All Sides until its end. Each of the two one-sided panels feature a saint virgin: St. Catherine with the sword and the wheel on the left and St. Barbara with the tower and the chalice, the reference to the Holy Eucharist, on the right. “The lush foliage almost swallows both the figures – Cranach was clearly absorbed or even captivated by his depiction of Paradise. However, the coat of arms of the painting's commissioning donor, Stanislav Thurzo, placed in the foreground of the left panel, is even more dominant than the foliage. Thurzo was among the most influential and wealthiest people of his times,” says the curator Olga Kotková.