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The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Angels and Saints
Probably by Michael Pacher
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The Virgin Mary, the Christ Child in her lap, is seated on a marble throne that is topped with an elaborately carved canopy. Below, an angel offers a rose to Christ, but he is distracted by the pear held out by a second angel. Smaller canopies cover the niches on either side, which house the Archangel Michael on the left and an unidentified bishop saint on the right. Michael raises his sword, ready to strike the devil pinned beneath his feet – a reference to the cosmic battle described in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 12: 16).

The arches in the background are filled with a gilded three-dimensional pattern, which was created by building up a chalk-based ground that was then delicately carved away. The small size and high degree of finish of the painting, as well as its decoratively marbled reverse, suggest that it was intended as a private devotional picture.

Key facts
Artist Probably by Michael Pacher
Artist dates active 1465?; died 1498
Full title The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Angels and Saints
Date made about 1475
Medium and support Oil on silver fir
Dimensions 40.3 x 39.4 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Miss Anna S.H. Simonson, 1947
Inventory number NG5786
Location in Gallery Room 65
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