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Madonna of Ca'Pesaro
The canvas measures 4.85 per 2.70 metres and portrays the Virgin seated on a throne waiting for Jacopo Pesaro being presented to her by St. Peter, who is interrupting his reading. The Venetian nobleman is kneeling on the left and behind him a standard bearer raises the flaming banner with the coat of arms of Pope Alexander VI, as Jacopo Pesaro was the com- mander of the papal galleys in the victorious battle of S. Maura against the Turks in 1503.
A Turkish prisoner wearing a stupendous turban is visible in the rear.
Around the Virgin's throne St. Francis and St. Anthony are interceding for Jacopo Pesaro and his brothers Francesco, Antonio, Fantino and Giovanni knelt on the right. The youth in white satin is Leonardo, Antonio's son, who seems to turn suddenly watching the observer from whatever angle he may be looking. This figure, whose attention wan- ders from the scene, is in fact a link between the public and the scene itself, almost forcing the observer to participate to the important event by sharing the deep feeling of spiritual concentration.
The painting shows the important innovation of representing the Virgin at the side of the altar-piece and not in her traditional central place,

yet standing at the summit of the scene and being the true central point of the picture. The magnificence of colour and the expressive power of the portraits make this picture one of the masterpieces of painting of all times.


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