Madonna di Ca' Pesaro by Mary Elizabeth Podles

Madonna di Ca' Pesaro by Tiziano Vecellio (Titian)

by Mary Elizabeth Podles

In 1518, the Pesaro family acquired a side chapel in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the Franciscan church in Venice, to use as a funerary -memorial. Titian, who had just finished a glorious Assumption for the main altar, was seized upon to do the decoration. The altarpiece he designed, the Pesaro -Madonna, combines several types of pictures familiar to Venetians of the day into one. It is a Sacra Conversazione, in which the Madonna enthroned communes with a gathering of saints; it is an ex voto, an offering given . . .