Cesare Alessandro Scaglia served the House of Savoy in various diplomatic posts from 1614-32, when he retired to Brussels, a rich but discredited man. He entered the monastery of the Rýcollets, Antwerp, sometime after 1637 and died there in 1641.

It is possible that the Virgin and Child are based on portrait likenesses of Christina, Duchess of Savoy, and her eldest son. The composition of the picture derives from a lost painting by Titian sketched by Van Dyck in Italy.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1599 - 1641
Full title
The Abbé Scaglia adoring the Virgin and Child
Date made
1634-5
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
106.7 x 120 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by Anthony de Rothschild in memory of Louisa, Lady de Rothschild, and Constance, Lady Battersea, 1937
Inventory number
NG4889
Location in Gallery