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Follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, The Virgin and Child

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child
Artist Follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio
Artist dates about 1467 - 1516
Date made probably about 1500
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 50.9 × 37.8 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2496
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin and Child
Follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio

The Virgin Mary stands behind a parapet on which the Christ Child is seated. In one hand Christ holds an apple – it symbolises the Fall of Man, from which he was believed to offer redemption. With the other, he twists to reach out for the flower his mother offers him.

Painted in around 1500, this small panel is one of a number derived from Leonardo’s Madonna Litta (State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg). The artist has drawn on the works of several of Leonardo’s followers, creating a kind of jigsaw based on bits of compositions by other artists. The views through the windows are perhaps where he expressed his own personality – a tiny woman does her washing in a river on the left, and a man with a bundle on a stick over his shoulder walks through the fields on the right.

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