The Virgin and Child with Saint John

This painting by David Ghirlandaio, brother of the more famous Domenico, must date from the 1490s. The surface is badly worn in parts, especially in the face of Saint John.

Underdrawing is now partly visible and reveals that the artist first planned to depict the Virgin's right hand on Christ's right leg.

The buildings in the distance are based on notable monuments in Rome and include the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Arch of Constantine.

Key facts

Artist dates
1452 - 1525
Full title
The Virgin and Child with Saint John
Date made
probably about 1490-1500
Medium and support
Tempera on wood
78.8 x 46.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
Location in Gallery