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Lorenzo di Credi, The Virgin adoring the Child

Key facts
Full title The Virgin adoring the Child
Artist Lorenzo di Credi
Artist dates about 1458 - 1537
Date made 1490-1500
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 86.4 × 60.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1860
Inventory number NG648
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin adoring the Child
Lorenzo di Credi

The Virgin Mary kneels on a grassy patch in the foreground, seemingly undisturbed by our intrusive gaze. Her hands are clasped in prayer as she faces her infant son, who is lying before her. His legs crossed, his right elbow resting on a pillow, he is focusing on something outside the picture.

A ruinous wall is just broken enough to reveal, as if through a window, two shepherds resting on a distant hill. One is playing the bagpipes, but it is a blue angel hovering mid-air that seems to wake the other. This is the Archangel Gabriel, delivering the message of Christ’s birth.

We don't know who this painting was made for, but it is likely that it adorned a Florentine household, offering a visual aid for prayer.

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