The Visitation

The scene shows the visit made by the Virgin Mary to her elder cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with her son John the Baptist. This episode is described in the New Testament (Luke 1: 36-56), and immediately follows the visit to Mary of the angel announcing her own miraculous conception of the Son of God.

This painting was at one time ascribed to Murillo, but the use of ultramarine pigment makes it unlikely to have been painted in Spain, and it may be by a French or north Italian artist. The composition is similar to that in Palma Vecchio's treatment of the same subject painted in the early 1520s (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum).

Key facts

Full title
The Visitation
Date made
about 1630
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
113.6 x 218 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, using the Martin Colnaghi Fund, 1944
Inventory number
Location in Gallery