The Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist

This tondo was probably painted in Botticelli's workshop, though it is not clear if it was excuted during his lifetime, under his supervision, or after his death, using stock workshop designs. The pose of the Virgin, for example, is not unlike the Virgin in Botticelli's 'Mystic Nativity' but the other elements are less successfully integrated. The Christ Child for example has nothing to support his back. The landscape does not particularly resemble those in Botticelli's autograph works. Other versions of it are known - one is in Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. It was evidently painted to appeal to a flourishing Florentine market for such devotional images. This is indicated, not least, by the inclusion of the infant Saint John the Baptist, Florence's patron saint.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1445 - 1510
Full title
The Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist
Date made
probably about 1482-98
Medium and support
Tempera and oil on wood
95.3 x 94 cm
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
Location in Gallery