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Bernardino Bergognone, The Virgin and Child with Two Angels

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Two Angels
Artist Bernardino Bergognone
Artist dates about 1455/60 - 1525
Date made 1490-5
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 92.7 × 57.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1879
Inventory number NG1077
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with Two Angels
Bernardino Bergognone

A serene young mother balances a toddler on her lap, tenderly supporting him with one hand and holding an open book in the other. This is no ordinary mother – she sits on an elaborate throne and is serenaded by angelic musicians, and both mother and child have gilded haloes. This is the Virgin Mary and Christ.

Innumerable images of the Virgin and Child were painted in the Renaissance, when Mary was the main focus of religious devotion, especially in Italy. The artist, Bernardino Bergognone, was the younger brother of one of the leading Milanese painters of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Ambrogio Bergognone. You can make out his name in the letters around the hem of the Virgin’s mantle, where her shoe peeps out from beneath it.

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