Skip to main content

Spanish, Valencian, 'The Virgin', probably 1450s

Key facts
Full title The Virgin
Artist Spanish, Valencian
Date made probably 1450s
Medium and support Oil on pine
Dimensions 34.9 × 26 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1891
Inventory number NG1335
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin
Spanish, Valencian

The Virgin is set against a gold-leaf background. Her heavenly nature is emphasised by her jewelled hood-trimming and the intricate patterns punched onto the painting’s gilded surface. The Virgin’s incomplete halo suggests that the panel may have been cropped at the top.

A false attribution to the thirteenth-century Italian artist Cimabue appears in an inscription on the back of the panel. Until recently, the painting was thought to be French but new evidence suggests it was made in the region of Valencia, Spain, in the mid-fifteenth century. Pine panels like the one which this picture is painted were commonly used in the Mediterranean, particularly in Valencia. The thin layers of oil paint and the meticulous attention paid to decorative motifs recall Netherlandish painting, which the artist could have seen in Spain or by travelling to the Netherlands.

Such bust-length Virgins were frequently paired with images of Christ as the Man of Sorrows – a number of examples can be found in Valencian collections.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

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.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo