Cima was born in Conegliano, a prosperous market town north of Venice in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Cima’s family name derives from the profession of his father and grandfather, who were cimatori di panni, craftsmen employed in the trimming and finishing of woolen cloth. Cima was among the generation of artists who ushered in the “Golden Age” of Venetian painting, which was distinguished by three closely linked qualities: the exploration and refinement of the oil medium, a remarkable sensitivity for rendering light, and a particular affinity for landscape painting.
Giovanni Battista Cima, also called Cima da Conegliano (c. 1459 – c. 1517), was an Italian Renaissance painter, who mostly worked in Venice. He can be considered part of the Venetian school, though he was also influenced by Antonello da Messina, in the emphasis he gives to landscape backgrounds and the tranquil atmosphere of his works. Once formed his style did not change greatly. He mostly painted religious subjects, often on a small scale for homes rather than churches, but also a few, mostly small, mythological ones.
He often repeated popular subjects in different versions with slight variations, including his Madonnas and Saint Jerome in a Landscape. His paintings of the Madonna and Child include several variations of a composition that have a standing infant Jesus, which in turn are repeated several times.