The Virgin and Child with Saints

It is not known for which church this altarpiece was made. Since it is on canvas it could easily have been sent from Mantua, where Mantegna was court artist, to a church elsewhere, and is in fact first recorded in Milan.

The scroll of the Baptist, around his cross, is inscribed with the familiar Latin text, partially visible, 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world'. On the other side of the scroll is the artist's name 'Andreas Mantinia C.P.F...' - the F for fecit (made this) and the C.P. perhaps for Comes Palatinus, a knighthood given to Mantegna in 1469.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1430/1 - 1506
Full title
The Virgin and Child with the Magdalen and Saint John the Baptist
Date made
probably 1490-1505
Medium and support
Tempera on canvas
139.1 x 116.8 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Inscribed
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1855
Inventory number
Location in Gallery