The Virgin and Child

This is an entirely characteristic work by the artist. Giovanni Santi, Raphael's father, was also a poet at the Court of Urbino.

The distant landscape in the background is reminiscent of Domenico Ghirlandaio, while the sleeping child may be based on a 'Virgin and Child' by Giovanni Bellini (Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum).

Christ wears a necklace made from coral, perhaps reflecting the belief that coral has healing properties. It is often seen in images of the Virgin and Child.

Key facts

Artist dates
active 1469 - 1494
Full title
The Virgin and Child
Date made
perhaps about 1488
Medium and support
Egg and oil on wood
68 x 49.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1865
Inventory number
Location in Gallery