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Master of the Albertini (Master of the Casole Fresco), The Virgin and Child with Six Angels

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Six Angels
Artist Master of the Albertini (Master of the Casole Fresco)
Artist dates active early 14th century
Date made about 1310-15 (?)
Medium and support Egg tempera on synthetic support, transferred from wood
Dimensions 194.2 × 170.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1857
Inventory number NG565
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with Six Angels
Master of the Albertini (Master of the Casole Fresco)

The Virgin Mary sits on a carved and inlaid marble throne, the Christ Child perched in the crook of her arm. In a tender gesture he grasps his mother’s thumb; with the other hand, she holds the pink cloth in which he is wrapped between her slender thumb and forefinger.

This large altarpiece has been cut down at the base, but it probably originally showed the Virgin full length. It was painted in the early fourteenth century, when artists were rethinking the conventions of Byzantine (Eastern Christian) art in search of a more naturalistic way of painting.

The anonymous painter was one of Duccio’s earliest followers, taking from him the elegant flowing lines, the soft colours and graceful gestures. Even small details, such as the white line along the top of the lips, are copied from Duccio.

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