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Workshop of Sandro Botticelli, The Virgin and Child with Saint John and an Angel

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Saint John and an Angel
Artist Workshop of Sandro Botticelli
Artist dates about 1445 - 1510
Date made about 1490
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 84.5 × 84.5 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1855
Inventory number NG275
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with Saint John and an Angel
Workshop of Sandro Botticelli

Restored in 2018–19, this is one of the more significant paintings of the Virgin Mary to survive from the workshop of the Florentine Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. The exposed breast with which the Virgin Mary is nourishing her infant son, the Christ Child, is central to the design of the painting. The young Saint John the Baptist on the left and the angel on the right are slightly bent forward as if to fit into the circular format.

This tondo was among the very first early Italian paintings to enter the National Gallery’s collection, and its acquisition in 1855 coincided with the rise in popularity of Botticelli. Numerous artists came to see it, producing copies of it, and studying its tempera technique (tempera is paint made using egg yolk as a medium). At some point it was displayed next to works by Raphael. The painting survives with its original frame.

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