Acquisition of Elisabetta Sirani’s Madonna and Child (Madonna of the Rose)

The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce the acquisition of the Madonna and Child (Madonna of the Rose) by the celebrated Bolognese Baroque artist Elisabetta Sirani (1638–1665).

Lauded by the contemporary biographer Carlo Cesare Malvasia (1616–1693) as ‘the wonder of art, the glory of her sex, the gem of Italy, the sun of Europe’, Sirani was one of the most celebrated artists in her lifetime. She lived and worked in Bologna, a city renowned for its progressive atmosphere in which women artists thrived. This painting of the Madonna and Child is a stunning example of Sirani’s specialty subject, in which she demonstrates endless invention, capturing a private and tender moment between mother and child. By positioning the figures close to the picture plane and the viewer, Sirani invites us into the divine space, allowing us to participate in the intimate wordless dialogue between them. With attention to delicate nuances in gestures, rich use of colours and confident brushwork, Sirani truly brings this sacred scene to life. Taking pride in her work and her own accomplishments, Sirani regularly signed her works. Here, ‘ELISAA.SIRANI 1664’ is prominently embroidered on the Madonna’s neckline.

Elisabetta Sirani, Madonna and Child (Madonna of the Rose), 1664