Girolamo dai Libri (Italian, 1474–1555)
Madonna and Child with Saints, ca. 1520
Tempera and oil on canvas; Arched top, 157 x 81 1/2 in. (398.8 x 207 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1920 (20.92)
The bay laurel’s association with eternal life and with victory goes back to antiquity, and make it an appropriate choice for Girolamo dai Libri’s juxtaposition of Resurrection and Death. The proverbial vigor of the bay tree is evident in the luxuriant growth that springs up from the base of the tree, partially concealing the trunk of this magnificent specimen.