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The Virgin and Child in Glory
Giovanni Battista Bertucci the Elder
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This was the central panel of a multi-panelled altarpiece commissioned in 1512 by Clarice Manfredi, a Dominican prioress, for the chapel of Saint Thomas Aquinas in the church of S. Andrea in Vineis in Faenza. Side panels showing Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint John the Evangelist were placed to the right and left of the Virgin and there was a second tier of panels above and a predella panel below. Clarice endowed the chapel and also oversaw Bertucci’s decoration of it.

The Virgin Mary sits on a throne made of clouds. She holds a lily and supports the naked infant Christ, who stands on her thigh. She is surrounded by child angels – two hold a golden crown over her head and another two carry lit tapers at her side. The little angel peering out from beneath her gown appears to be conducting the child musicians who play the rebec (a precursor of the violin) and duct flute below.

Key facts
Artist Giovanni Battista Bertucci the Elder
Artist dates active 1495; died 1516
Full title The Virgin and Child in Glory
Date made about 1510-12
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 179.1 x 81.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1856
Inventory number NG282
Location in Gallery Not on display
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