Skip to main content
The Virgin and Child
Luis de Morales
/

The Virgin gently cradles her son. Luis de Morales sensitively observes the instinctive gesture of the newborn baby tucking his hand through her red gown searching for milk. Mother and child lean into each other, their gazes tenderly interlocking.

Morales explores the sense of touch through both the figures‘ gestures and their fabrics, which range from a soft transparent veil to the heavy folds of the Virgin’s blue mantle. His close observation of detail extends to the figures’ individually painted eyelashes and hairs.

The Virgin and Child, sculpted by a soft light, emerge from a pitch-dark background – a smoky effect that recalls the figures in Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings. The small format suggests that the panel was intended for private devotion. Morales was active in the Spanish region of Extremadura and painted several of these small devotional paintings for the clergy and private clients there.

Key facts
Artist Luis de Morales
Artist dates active 1546; died 1586?
Full title The Virgin and Child
Date made probably 1565-70
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 28.5 x 19.6 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Gerard F. de Zoete, 1887
Inventory number NG1229
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo