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Madonna and Child
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Madonna and Child

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description Small paintings of the Madonna and Child were a popular type of decoration in the domestic interiors of Renaissance Florence. In this example, the figures are seated outdoors with a building and a cluster of trees behind them. The Madonna appears to embrace the Christ Child on her lap as he wriggles on her lap and turns around to meet her gaze. This intimate exchange, emphasizing the close relationship between mother and son, would have had a special resonance in the context of a family home. The painting shares its composition with a work executed by the young Filippino Lippi (ca 1457-1504) in the workshop of his teacher, Sandro Botticelli (1444/5-1510). Now at the Louvre in Paris, Lippi’s version differs from the Walters painting primarily through the inclusion of two angels behind the Virgin and Child. A third version of the composition, now at Musée du Petit Palais in Avignon, France, includes just one angel. As suggested by their similar compositions and measurements, all three paintings were probably produced with the same “cartoon,” or scaled preparatory drawing, created by Botticelli himself and then passed down to the young assistants working in his studio. This practice was common during the Renaissance as it allowed master painters to satisfy the high demand for their work.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
1/01/1946Treatmentchemical analysis; examined for exhibition; infrared spectroscopy; lined; other; repaired; x-ray
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 142, as Florentine School, ca. 1500]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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ca. 1475 (Renaisance)
oil on wood panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Painted surface H including added strips: 24 9/16 x W: 17 3/16 x D excluding cradle: 3/8 in. (62.4 x 43.6 x 1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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