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The Virgin and Child
Italian, Milanese
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This work is a badly damaged fragment of a fresco. It shows the Virgin holding the naked infant Christ on her knee. The Christ Child raises his hand in a gesture of blessing while looking down towards the left. The direction of his gaze and that of the Virgin suggests that he may originally have been blessing another figure included in the fresco, possibly the kneeling donor who commissioned it.

The fresco was probably painted by a Milanese artist influenced by the work of Leonardo da Vinci, an echo noticeable in the appearance of the Virgin and Christ Child. It is painted in the style of Boltraffio, who was an assistant and follower of Leonardo’s, and also resembles the work of the Master of the Pala Sforzesca, who painted an altarpiece now in the Brera, Milan. However, the picture is too damaged to be able to say for certain who painted it.

Key facts
Artist Italian, Milanese
Full title The Virgin and Child
Date made perhaps about 1500-25
Medium and support Fresco
Dimensions 73.5 x 45.1 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by the Misses Cohen as part of the John Samuel collection, 1906
Inventory number NG2089
Location in Gallery Not on display
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