Fano Altarpiece, predella (Fano)

Pietro Vannucci realized this predella to complete the lower part of the Altarpiece for the Church of Santa Maria Nuova in Fano.

The five panels show some episodes of the life of Our Lady: the Nativity of the Virgin shows the birth of Mary, held in the arms of graceful midwives; one of them, in the background, is in prayer, anticipating the role of Queen of Heaven that the child will have, while to the right of the scene, Saint Anne, still weak after giving birth to the child, rests on a comfortable bed.

The Marriage depicts the moment of the marriage between a young Virgin, blonde and with her hair coiffed according to the taste of the time, and an elderly Saint Joseph; at the center of the scene, the priest holds the hands of both characters joining them in the middle. On the right, some women hold a book and two doves, while on the left a young man is breaking a stick without flowers, recalling Mary choosing Joseph, chosen by God to become the earthly father of the Saviour, over the other suitors.

The Annunciation takes place in a countryside landscape, on the background of a large loggia, below which the Madonna is caught by the Archangel Gabriel in the act of reading a book: after the announcement, Mary piously accepts her destiny.

The Child Jesus is lovingly held by his mother and a priest in the Presentation to the Temple; in the background of the central scene, as in the table of the Wedding, men and women are divided and placed on the sides of the protagonists.

Finally, the Assumption of the Virgin in Heaven, within an almond of light, happens under the incredulous gaze of the Apostles; one of them, Saint Thomas, is receiving the sacred waste, an important relic that today is kept in the cathedral Basilica of Saint Stephen in Prato.

The predella panels are preserved in the church of Santa Maria Nuova.