Thought to date from the 1552-54, this is considered to be one of the earliest examples of a ‘Sacra Conversazione’ painted as a nocturnal scene - a vogue which became popular with other Venetian artists such as Jacopo Bassano, Palma Giovane and Paolo Veronese about a decade later.
Andrea Meldolla, called Schiavone, was born in Zara, Dalmatia, at that time under Venetian jurisdiction; his family came from Meldolla in the Romagna. He was probably living in Venice by the late 1530s, where he died in 1563. He also produced etchings, one of which likewise showed the Christ Child and the infant Baptist, each supported by his kneeling mother.
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