ACU has acquired a magnificent example of Matteo di Giovanni’s work which is displayed in the new Mercy Building on the Brisbane campus. ‘Madonna and child with St John the Baptist’ was painted c. 1490 in oil, tempera and gold on softwood, depicting Mary and Jesus in portrait form, interacting with St John the Baptist who is offering the infant a small golden crosier.
Matteo di Giovanni
Madonna and Child with St John the Baptist, c.1490
oil and tempera on softwood
H 57.4 x W 39.5 cm
Australian Catholic University Art Collection
The ‘Madonna and child with St John the Baptist’ was painted by Italian Renaissance artist Matteo di Giovanni. He lived and worked in Siena from c. 1428 – 95 and is best known for altarpieces and religious scenes, including his Massacre of the Innocents from 1482. He painted many depictions of the Madonna and child with a notable realism and beauty.
ACU Curator Caroline Field said, ““This is a significant work, worthy of representation within a major international public collection, and represents substantial aesthetic and historical qualities.”
This acquisition complements the University’s collection of artworks that reflect a profound spiritual value, and contributes in a tangible way to our Catholic identity, mission, and aesthetic environment.
A special collection of books, manuscripts and artefacts on the history of Catholicism in Australia. This diverse collection includes both ecclesiastical and social history.