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Workshop of Raffaellino del Garbo, The Virgin and Child with Two Angels

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Two Angels
Artist Workshop of Raffaellino del Garbo
Artist dates living 1479?; died 1527?
Date made about 1500-1510
Medium and support Tempera on canvas, transferred from wood
Dimensions 84.5 × 84.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Sir Henry Bernhard Samuelson in memory of his father, 1937
Inventory number NG4902
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with Two Angels
Workshop of Raffaellino del Garbo

The Virgin Mary stands barefoot on a narrow patch of grass, dangerously close to the edge of a rocky slope, with an angel on either side. As our gaze moves upwards, we are calmed by the Christ Child sleeping peacefully in his mother’s arms.

Circular paintings, known as tondi, were hugely popular in Renaissance Florence, and the city’s leading painters specialised in their production. Made as a visual aid for prayer, most depict the Virgin and Christ Child, sometimes with angels, the young Saint John the Baptist or other saints. The National Gallery is home to a variety of tondi from the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

Raffaellino del Garbo’s composition stands out for its tender portrayal of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and Christ. It seems to have been much appreciated at the time as there is a very similar version of it in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

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