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After Raphael, The Madonna and Child

Key facts
Full title The Madonna and Child
Artist After Raphael
Artist dates 1483 - 1520
Date made probably before 1600
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 87 × 61.3 cm
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG929
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Madonna and Child
After Raphael

This is a copy of Raphael’s Virgin and Child known as ‘The Bridgewater Madonna’. The original is on loan to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh from the Duke of Sutherland’s collection.

The copy is similar in size and in most colours and follows Raphael’s style closely, making it difficult to attribute to a known artist. Its origin is uncertain but it possibly dates from the late sixteenth century. The copy is very precise, except for the gauzy drapery which covers Christ’s nudity. This is clearly a later addition, probably dating from the nineteenth century.

Raphael adapted Christ’s dynamic twisting pose from Michelangelo’s relief sculpture, the Taddei Tondo (Royal Academy of Arts, London), and Leonardo’s Madonna of the Yardwinder (one of two known versions is on loan to the National Galleries of Scotland). Although he had previously depicted Christ lying across his mother’s lap, Raphael had never before given the pose so much movement nor invested the scene with so much drama.

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