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Madonna and Child, ca. 1475

Artist: Attributed to Francesco Botticini, Italian (Florentine School), 1446 - 1497

Medium: Tempera on wood panel

Painting: 31 7/8 x 26 1/4 in. (81 x 66.7 cm)
Frame: 37 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. (95.3 x 80.6 cm)

Credit Line: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Object Number: 61.206

On View

William Graham (1817-1885), London (sale, London, Christie's, April 9, 1886, no. 326 as Masaccio); W. Lockett Agnew, London; Hon. J. F. Cheetham, Dunkinfield Lodge, Bournemouth (sale, London, Christie's, June 15, 1923, no. 82, as Masaccio); Frank T. Sabine, London, until at least 1932 [as Filippo Lippi]; Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi (1878-1955), Rome-Florence, July 17, 1950 [as Francesco Botticini]; Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York, New York, 1961

The infant Christ clutches the index finger and breast of the Virgin to nurse in this intimate portrayal of motherhood. The pair, enthroned before a sumptuously brocaded cloth of honor, are situated within an inaccessible walled garden, symbolic of the Madonna's virginity. Botticini's careful planning of the composition is evident; extensive drawing is visible below the paint layers, and black dots on the outlines by the fingers, difficult to see with the naked eye, indicate the design was transferred to the panel using a pricked cartoon. The format and subject matter suggests this painting may have been used for private devotion within a domestic interior.