The Virgin and Child

This painting is one of many images of the Virgin and Child by Bellini's workshop and is often called 'The Madonna of the Pomegranate'. The fruit held by the Virgin is not identified with certainty, but could well be a pomegranate, symbol of the Passion. Fruit such as apples and pears appear in many Bellini paintings of the Virgin and Child. The green cloth of honour, the landscape and the parapet are also common features of Bellini's Madonnas. The pattern was also adopted by Cima.

This 'Virgin and Child' is closely related to a full-length version made by Bellini, now lost but reflected in a painting by Tacconi. It is likely that the composition was developed for the larger format because in this version the knees do not fit comfortably into the composition.

Key facts

Artist dates
active about 1459; died 1516
Full title
The Virgin and Child
Date made
probably 1480-90
Medium and support
Oil, probably with egg tempera, on poplar
90.8 x 64.8 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1855
Inventory number
Location in Gallery