The Madonna del Latte

Ambrogio da Fossano, called Il Bergognonearound 1485

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Museo Poldi Pezzoli
Milano, Italy

The atmosphere of the painting is of great intimacy. Jesus clasps his mother’s breast between his little hands, while turning his head to gaze at the viewer. The artist dwells on the detail of the blue hood which has slipped from the Virgin’s head and the creased sheet which enwraps Jesus, with one end falling over his mother’s wrist. Refined touches of gilding highlight the hair of the Virgin, the green lining of the hood and the red cuff of her dress.
The high quality of this work has long caused difficulties in its attribution. After oscillating between Vincenzo Foppa and Ambrogio Bergognone, the work was assigned some years ago to Donato de’ Bardi of Pavia. Its reattribution to Bergognone is due to the discovery of a small panel with Three Singing Angels which is believed to have formed part, with this panel of a portable altar, intended for the private devotions of some distinguished client.


  • Title: The Madonna del Latte
  • Creator: Ambrogio da Fossano, called Il Bergognone
  • Creator Lifespan: 1453 - 1523
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Death Place: Milano
  • Creator Birth Place: Fossano (Cuneo)
  • Date Created: around 1485
  • Physical Dimensions: w22.5 x h29 cm
  • Rights: Fondazione artistica Poldi Pezzoli "Onlus"
  • External Link: http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it/#!/it/scopri/collezioni/2787
  • Medium: Tempera on panel

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