The Madonna of the Basket

The subject is an unusual one of the Virgin dressing the Christ Child. The jacket into which he has put one arm has been made by the Virgin; wool of the same colour is in the basket beside her. Saint Joseph is busy with his carpentry in the background. The outstretching of Christ's arms may be taken to foreshadow his Crucifixion.

This painting has been dated to about 1524 on the strength of stylistic comparisons with the 'Pietà' (Parma, Galleria Nazionale). A number of copies are known. This picture has always been accepted as the original of the design. It is in superlative condition.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active 1494; died 1534
Full title
The Madonna of the Basket
Date made
about 1524
Medium and support
Oil on wood
Dimensions
33.7 x 25.1 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1825
Inventory number
NG23
Location in Gallery