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Workshop of Sandro Botticelli, The Virgin and Child with a Pomegranate

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with a Pomegranate
Artist Workshop of Sandro Botticelli
Artist dates about 1445 - 1510
Date made probably about 1480-1500
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 67.9 × 52.7 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Lady Lindsay, 1912
Inventory number NG2906
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with a Pomegranate
Workshop of Sandro Botticelli

The Virgin Mary stands with her infant son, Christ, in the corner of a large but sparsely decorated room. He is balanced on a small table, the only piece of furniture, but is dangerously close to its edge; a closed book further restricts the space available to him. The Virgin uses both hands to support his left leg as he leans forward. His translucent robe hardly provides protection.

Seeds of a pomegranate trickle out of Christ’s raised hand, evoking the beads of a rosary, the devotional aid often used for prayer. This resemblance may be intentional, as the painting is likely to have been made for private worship. The workshop of the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli specialised in the production of such paintings, which frequently decorated people’s homes.

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