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Ambrogio Bergognone, The Virgin and Child

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child
Artist Ambrogio Bergognone
Artist dates active 1481; died 1523?
Date made about 1488-90
Medium and support Oil on poplar
Dimensions 55.2 × 35.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1894
Inventory number NG1410
Location Gallery C
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin and Child
Ambrogio Bergognone

The Virgin Mary stands behind a stone parapet, supporting her infant son with one hand; Christ balances on a green cloth lying over the sill. In the background you can see monks in white habits strolling in the grounds of a large church – one is accompanied by a layman and his dog.

The monks are Carthusians, and the church is the Certosa (Charterhouse) of Pavia, where Ambrogio Bergognone worked from the late 1480s. You can see the front of the building under construction to the right of the Virgin’s cloth of honour. This small panel may well have been made for the private devotional use of one of the monks.

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