Madonna and Child with St. John and Three Angels

WAG 2890


The baby Jesus holds a goldfinch while another is perched on the ledge in front. Goldfinches are symbols of Christ's death. In contrast, the pomegranate bursting with seeds represents new life. A faint grid pattern is visible on this painting. This would have guided the artist when transferring the prepatory drawing onto the panel. 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.