'The Manchester Madonna'

This painting is unfinished. Christ is seen indicating a passage in the book held by the Virgin which one pair of angels contemplates. The others study a scroll, perhaps given to them by John the Baptist. The book and scroll may carry prophecies of Christ's future sacrifice. The draperies and the rock plinth are very similar to Michelangelo's earliest sculptures.

Key facts

Artist dates
1475 - 1564
Full title
The Virgin and Child with Saint John and Angels ('The Manchester Madonna')
Date made
about 1497, possibly as early as 1494
Medium and support
Tempera on wood
104.5 x 77 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1870
Inventory number
Location in Gallery