(Ferrara, about 1430 - 1495, Ferrara)
Oil on panel
Tura set the circumcision of the infant Jesus in a compressed space filled with overlapping figures and furniture. Seated on his mother’s lap, the child twists away from the mohel; Joseph and the prophetess Anna witness the scene. Notice the energy generated by the long, expressive hands of each figure and the sharp, agitated folds of their clothing. Cosmè Tura achieved a great reputation working for the rulers and wealthy families of Ferrara (his home town). This painting was part of a large altarpiece commissioned by the Roverella family. The painted coral beads draped over the top of the carved tablet in the background are echoed in a nearby case of real beads. As you explore the galleries, look for other examples of arrangements created by Gardner that invite unexpected visual connections between works of art.