Skip to main content

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, The Virgin and Child appearing to a Group of Saints

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child appearing to a Group of Saints
Artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Artist dates 1696 - 1770
Date made about 1735
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 52.7 × 31.8 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2513
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin and Child appearing to a Group of Saints
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

This is a small oil sketch but its composition is ambitious. Tiepolo has arranged the figures in a towering pyramid with the Virgin Mary at the top, seated on a cloud. She holds the Christ Child on her knee, grasping his foot firmly as he tugs at her veil.

The saints’ responses unfold in a chain reaction as we are led around the painting by gesture and gaze. On the right, the outstretched arm of a kneeling priest directs us to Saint Francis, who wears the brown habit of the religious order he founded. He bows his head while the priest in yellow beside him looks intently towards the Virgin and Christ. Above them, a female saint also turns towards Christ. The clouds and swooping cherubs add to the sense of movement.

This sketch does not relate to any known altarpiece by the artist. It could have been made as a small devotional work or a preliminary sketch that didn't lead to a major work.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

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.

Download low-resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo