Virgin and Child
This is the copy of the central section of Murillo’s painting 'The Virgin and Child in Glory'. It was inserted into the painting to replace the original section when that was cut out and sold off. The removal of the original section and its replacement with this copy probably took place in the 1770s, when the painted altarpiece was still in the Archbishop’s Palace in Seville. At that time the Palace was being redecorated by artists from Seville’s Drawing Academy. The Academy’s Director, from 1772 to 1785, was Pedro del Pozo. In 2017 Infra-red photography of this copy revealed a mass of under drawing below its surface. The under drawing is similar to a signed drawing by Pozo in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. This suggests that Pozo probably painted the copy and cut-out the original section from Murillo’s altarpiece. The copy was only removed from Murillo’s altarpiece, and the original skilfully re-instated, between October 1862 and January 1863 by George Morrill, a London picture-restorer. Further information in online blogs and a time-lapse video of conservator Olympia Diamond cleaning one of the cherubs is available online at liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/murillo.