Madonna suckling the Child
The image of the Virgin with the infant Christ at her breast is known as a Madonna Lactans. It focuses on the human nature and humility of the mother and child rather than their divine character. The subject was popularised in Renaissance Florence through paintings by Lorenzo and his active studio. The Walker’s painting is a larger copy with variants to landscape and dress of a picture in Cincinnati Art Museum painted around 1520. Lorenzo had trained alongside the more famous Leonardo and Perugino in the Florentine studio of Verrocchio, which he took over in 1482-3.