This tiny and exquisite painting shows Ludovico's art at its most delicate. The Holy Spirit is seen descending upon the marriage of the Virgin Mary to Joseph, whose rod has symbolically burst into flower.

The work was once attributed to Annibale Carracci, but the shape of the Virgin's head, the drapery folds and details like the dog are typical of Ludovico.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1555 - 1619
Full title
The Marriage of the Virgin
Date made
about 1590
Medium and support
Oil on copper
Dimensions
41.3 x 32.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the National Gallery, 2003
Inventory number
NG6595
Location in Gallery