The Virgin and Child

This picture with its brilliant blues and greens is among Cima's finest works. The active twisting pose of the child Jesus has evolved from earlier more sedate paintings of him.

The background shows a view of 15th-century Conegliano, Cima's home town, known from other paintings. Cima's signature normally includes 'of Conegliano'. Its absence here suggests that this picture was made for Conegliano itself, where he would not have needed to distinguish himself from any other Cima.

Half-length paintings of the Virgin and Child account for a large part of the output of Cima's studio, as they had for Giovanni Bellini. Studio versions were often derived from set formulae. There are several versions of this composition.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1459/60 - about 1517/18
Full title
The Virgin and Child
Date made
probably about 1496-9
Medium and support
Oil on wood
69.2 x 57.2 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1858
Inventory number
Location in Gallery