Jacopo Tintoretto (1518–1594)
The Madonna of the Stars, second half 16th century
oil on canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
When the National Gallery acquired this work, it had a plain background, but a routine X-ray revealed that someone had painted over Tintoretto's original background. The cherubs and the stars were revealed only after art experts removed the overpainting. That being the case, I wonder what this painting was called before the stars were discovered?
Detail images of this work are available at the National Gallery web site, including a close-up of the infant, which proves that Tintoretto was much more talented at painting babies than certain other Renaissance artists.
And now, what we've all been waiting for to make the holiday season complete: It's a Wonderful Life in 30 seconds and re-enacted by bunnies.