'The Madonna of the Meadow' shows Jesus sleeping in the Virgin's lap. It is a natural pose yet anticipates the Pietà, in which his dead body is laid across his mother's lap.

The landscape shows the farmland and fortified hills of the mainland provinces of Venice. To the left of the Virgin a wading bird, possibly a crane, attacks a snake. This may be intended to symbolise the struggle of good and evil. The vulture in the tree may be symbolic of death.

The painting has been transferred from panel to canvas and is damaged in places.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active about 1459; died 1516
Full title
Madonna of the Meadow
Date made
about 1500
Medium and support
Oil and egg on synthetic panel, transferred from wood
Dimensions
67.3 x 86.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1858
Inventory number
NG599
Location in Gallery