This painting is part of the group: The Demidoff Altarpiece

This picture of the 'The Virgin and Child' is the central panel from a large altarpiece made for the high altar of San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno, east central Italy.

It was painted by Carlo Crivelli, a Venetian, who spent most of his career working in the Italian Marches.

In this altarpiece, Crivelli has used three-dimensional elements: glass, beads, carved and gilded wood and even gilded rope. In the flickering candle-light of a church, the effect of these would have been more powerful than in the well-lit gallery.

Crivelli's work is distinctive for the detail of his settings. The Virgin is seated on a marble step and surrounded by festoons of fruit and a tooled gilded background.

When acquired by the Gallery, the altarpiece had a third tier of smaller saints, now acknowledged as part of a separate polyptych in the same church. The entire complex has been known as the 'Demidoff Altarpiece' since it was framed as one polyptych when in Prince Anatole Demidoff's collection in the 19th century.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
about 1430/5 - about 1494
Full title
The Virgin and Child
Group
Date made
1476
Medium and support
Tempera on lime
Dimensions
148.6 x 63.5 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1868
Inventory number
NG788.1
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: The Demidoff Altarpiece

Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, Saint John the Baptist
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, 'Saint Peter'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Catherine of Alexandria'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Dominic'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Francis'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Andrew'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Stephen'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Thomas Aquinas'