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Marco d'Oggiono, The Virgin and Child

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child
Artist Marco d'Oggiono
Artist dates documented from 1487; died 1524
Date made probably about 1520
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 66.7 × 53.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1883
Inventory number NG1149
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child
Marco d'Oggiono

The Virgin Mary is seated on the ground in a rocky landscape with the Christ Child on her knee. He reaches out for the flower that his mother has just picked.

D‘Oggiono trained in Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop and both the style and composition of this painting seem to reflect models he had learned during his youth. He is clearly trying to imitate Leonardo’s famous sfumato (’smoky’) technique – blurring the outlines of a form – and his palette is softer than in earlier works, such as Portrait of a Man aged 20 (also in the National Gallery). D'Oggiono never mastered anatomy or expression, however: Christ’s hands are podgy and boneless, and he looks somewhat vapid.

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