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Workshop of Andrea Solario, The Virgin and Child

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child
Artist Workshop of Andrea Solario
Artist dates about 1465 - 1524
Date made early 16th century
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 61 × 46.4 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2504
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin and Child
Workshop of Andrea Solario

The infant Christ embraces the Virgin in a pose that very closely resembles – and is probably based on the design for – that in Raphael’s so-called ‘Mackintosh Madonna’, which is also in the National Gallery’s collection. This picture may have been made in Solario’s workshop, or might be a copy of one of his works. Paintings by Solario himself are of a higher quality, though the landscape background – a broad valley leading to distant snowy mountains, here framed by a square stone opening – is characteristic of his work.

On the right, in the wooded part of the countryside, two men greet each other politely as their paths cross; one has been riding, the other walking with his dog. Further down, near the bottom ledge, we see a single white lily, a symbol of the Virgin’s purity.

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