The Virgin and Child with Saints

Saint Catherine of Alexandria on the left is identifiable by her attribute of the wheel on which she was tortured, while Saint Catherine of Siena is on the right holding a lily, a symbol of purity.

There was formerly a lunette to the picture, showing a 'Pietà' with the dead Christ on the lap of the seated Madonna. It was purchased by the National Gallery at the same time as this painting, but was lost at sea.

The work was painted as an altarpiece for the Charterhouse in Pavia, presumably during Bergognone's first and chief period of activity there: two altarpieces still in the Certosa are dated 1490 and 1491.

Key facts

Artist dates
active 1481; died 1523?
Full title
The Virgin and Child with Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Catherine of Siena
Date made
about 1490
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
187.5 x 129.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1857
Inventory number
Location in Gallery