Madonna and Child in a Jasmine Bower

Francesco Melzicirca 1520 - circa 1520

The Frick Pittsburgh

The Frick Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, United States

Francesco Melzi was a student of Leonardo da Vinci. He specialized in painting half-length female figures in lush natural settings. Here, we have a Madonna set in a dense, green bower of Jasmine. The shiny green leaves are punctuated by the white blossoms. There are also cherries in the foreground. The plants in this lovely, Leonardesque painting are symbolic—the cherries represent the blood of Christ, and his sacrifice for humanity. The white jasmine flowers represent the purity of Christ and his mother, Mary.


  • Title: Madonna and Child in a Jasmine Bower
  • Creator: Francesco Melzi
  • Creator Lifespan: 1491/1493 - circa 1570
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Vaprio d'Adda, Lombardy, Italy
  • Creator Birth Place: Milan, Lombardy, Italy
  • Date: circa 1520 - circa 1520
  • Location Created: Milan, Lombardy, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: w26 x h34.38 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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