Skip to main content
The Virgin and Child Enthroned
Giorgio Schiavone
/

The Virgin Mary sits on a grand throne, a chubby Christ Child balancing precariously on her knee. This is the central panel of a large polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) painted by Giorgio Schiavone, probably for the church of San Niccolò in Padua.

This altarpiece sits on the cusp of the shift in Italian painting from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, and combines features of both periods. Although the background is gold, as was usual in medieval Italian painting, the Virgin sits on a classical marble throne decorated with carvings of putti (young boys in the persona of angels).

Christ rests one foot on an unusual glass ball with a pink string; four windows are reflected in it. This is perhaps an allusion to the globe sometimes held by the adult Christ in paintings, although it looks more like a bauble from a Christmas tree.

Key facts
Artist Giorgio Schiavone
Artist dates 1436/7 - 1504
Full title The Virgin and Child Enthroned
Group S. Niccolò Altarpiece, Padua
Date made probably about 1456-61
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 91.5 x 35 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1860
Inventory number NG630.1
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo

S. Niccolò Altarpiece, Padua

/

These ten panels once made up a polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) painted by Giorgio Schiavone, probably between 1456 and 1461. They were perhaps originally made for the chapel of the Frigimelina family in the church of San Niccolò in Padua.

In the fifteenth century the chapel may have been dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as she appears in the middle with saints on either side. We don‘t know exactly how the panels were arranged, but the full-length saints would have been in the bottom layer with the half-length figures above; this was a very popular format for Italian polyptychs. The altarpiece may well have had an elaborate frame, now missing.

The artist’s real name was Juraj Čulinović. Schiavone means ’Slavonian': he came from Dalmatia (in modern-day Croatia) but trained in Squarcione’s workshop in Padua in the late 1450s, when these panels were painted.

;