The Virgin and Child with Six Angels and Two Cherubim

The Virgin, crowned as the Queen of Heaven, holds the Christ Child who raises his hand in blessing. They are surrounded by six angels. This small devotional altarpiece is unusual because of the secular nature of the angels's costumes, which were of a type fashionable in Florence in the 1420s.

In the past, this painting has been ascribed to a number of minor Florentine and Sienese artists, but it is now linked on grounds of style with the work of Francesco d'Antonio di Bartolomeo.

A strip of pastiglia (an Italian term meaning raised patterns made from gesso), has been fixed to the bottom of the modern frame in the position of a predella. This includes three painted quatrefoils showing the Virgin, the Dead Christ and Saint John.

Key facts

Artist dates
born 1393; last documented 1452
Full title
The Virgin and Child with Six Angels and Two Cherubim
Date made
about 1440-50
Medium and support
Egg tempera on wood
113.4 x 65 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by J. P. Heseltine, 1895
Inventory number
Location in Gallery