Skip to main content

Correggio, The Madonna of the Basket

Key facts
Full title The Madonna of the Basket
Artist Correggio
Artist dates active 1494; died 1534
Date made about 1524
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 33.7 × 25.1 cm
Acquisition credit Bought from C. J. Nieuwenhuys collection, 1825
Inventory number NG23
Location Room 26
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Madonna of the Basket

The Virgin Mary sits under a tree in a simple gown of faded rose, her work basket with its iron shears and ball of grey wool at her side. She is trying a grey jacket she has just made on the Christ Child, which may be the seamless coat that legend claims grew with him and for which the soldiers cast lots at the foot of the cross (John 19: 23–4).The wriggly child stretches his arms out in a manner that may be meant to foreshadow the Crucifixion, his right hand in a blessing gesture. The atmosphere is suffused with tenderness.

Joseph is in the background, at work in his trade as a carpenter. The holy family’s simple home has been built alongside grandiose ruins – a symbol of the new faith rising out of the wreckage of pagan antiquity. The picture is a soft harmony of grey-pinks and grey-blues with the gentle, smoky quality for which Correggio is famous.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo