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Virgin and Child with a Pomegranate

BOTTICELLI, Alessandro (1447 - 1510), attributed to

Virgin and Child with a Pomegranate

Media: oil on board

Size: 64.8 x 41.9 cm

Acquired: 1952; Bequest; Gwendoline Davies

Accession Number: NMW A 242

Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection

This painting of the Madonna and Child donated to the Museum by Gwendoline Davies in 1952, has always been something of a mystery. Was it painted by Botticelli, a follower, or by artists in his workshop? Questions still remain, but exciting new evidence suggests the painting did in fact come from Botticelli’s studio, and that he himself was responsible for some of it.

Botticelli was one of the principal Florentine painters of the late fifteenth century. This painting is based upon the central figures in his San Barnaba Altarpiece of about 1485, now in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. The pomegranate held by the Christ Child is a Christian symbol of the Resurrection.

The painting featured in the BBC’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces on 13 November 2019.

Comments (1)

Virginia Knapp
28 November 2019, 06:27
In my opinion this painting depicts Mary Magdalene, not the Virgin Mary. Loose red hair, clothing red and green, not blue. Toddler obviously uncircumcised. Pomegranate is a symbol of sexual potency.
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