Madonna and Child with Angels

WAG 2781


The seated Virgin Mary holds Christ as a child. He raises his hand in blessing, while two angels stand behind in prayer. The Latin words ‘Ave Maria’ (Hail Mary) appear on the Virgin's dress. They reflect the words spoken by the angel Gabriel when he announced that she would become the mother of Christ. The artist worked in Padua and Bologna, both in northern Italy, where he painted large altarpieces and frescoes. Smaller devotional images, such as this panel, were intended for personal prayer. The attribution was first made by M.L. Berenson followed by B. Berenson and Rezio Buscaroli. It is closely related to the signed National Gallery Madonna of 1461 and the signed Madonna in San Domenico, Bologna from about 1458-1459. The compressed composition suggests the influence of relief sculpture. This is one of the artworks presented by the Liverpool Royal Institution. Liverpool’s economic development grew directly from Britain’s involvement with transatlantic slavery: the kidnapping, enslavement and forced migration of people from West Africa to the Americas and many to the Caribbean. Many members of the Royal Institution made their fortunes directly through the trade or indirectly through the wider economy. This wealth was largely how they were able to bring rare art and treasures, such as this, to the city