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The Virgin and Child with Flowers
After Carlo Dolci
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In this intimate painting the Virgin Mary holds a branch of lilies entwined with carnations in her left hand and supports the Christ Child with her right. He raises one hand in blessing, and holds a rose in the other. The rose and lily are commonly associated with the Virgin’s purity. More flowers lie in a basket. The golden-haired infant has a faint halo, making his head stand out against the dark background.

The tender atmosphere and delicacy of execution are typical of Carlo Dolci, who painted several versions of this scene for aristocratic patrons between 1642 and 1649 (there are examples in the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich). The refined draughtmanship, noticeable in details like the lace and the transparent veil covering Christ, is characteristic of the paintings he produced in the 1640s, although this version may be later and seems not to be by Dolci’s hand.

Key facts
Artist After Carlo Dolci
Artist dates 1616 - 1686
Full title The Virgin and Child with Flowers
Date made after 1642
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 78.1 x 63.2 cm
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG934
Location in Gallery Not on display
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