Skip to main content
The Virgin and Child with Angels
Probably by Benozzo Gozzoli
/

The Virgin’s sculptural presence – her voluminous draperies look as though carved from stone – is a moment of stillness in this little panel that rings with colour, pattern and gold details.

Gozzoli, who trained as a goldsmith and also painted illuminated manuscripts, was a popular artist among the wealthy and powerful. His glittering and exquisitely detailed pictures were luxury objects suitable for magnificent patrons; he worked on frescoes for the Pope and the ruling Florentine family, the Medici. Gozzoli may have painted this picture for an important cleric – the central shield decorating the edge of the canopy is engraved with a cross.

The formal pageantry of this scene is broken up with intimate details such as the angel who leans over to offer the infant Christ a little bird. The hedgerow in bloom that encloses the figures creates the effect of a private audience with the Virgin and Child and is probably meant to refer to the hortus conclusus, the enclosed garden that symbolised Mary’s virginity.

Key facts
Artist Probably by Benozzo Gozzoli
Artist dates 1420/2(?) - 1497
Full title The Virgin and Child with Angels
Date made about 1447-50
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 29.2 x 21.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1945
Inventory number NG5581
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
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