oil on canvas (128 × 170 cm) — c. 1560
The sacred conversation is an old subject in art. It shows Mary with child, accompanied by a few other persons. Originally these would be saints. Later the patrons would have themselves depicted, an early form of portrait painting.
Titian still showed saints. In this work they are Catherine of Alexandria and Luke the Evangelist.
Members of Titian's Venice workshop probably painted the curtain and Luke. Experts think so because of the lower quality of those parts.
The canvas is up for sale. The owners want to use the profits for keeping the remainder of Swiss industrial Heinz Kisters' collection in one hand.