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FRANCESCO PESELLINO

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VIRGIN AND CHILD, ABOUT 1453 - 1457

About the Artwork

The Gardner Museum’s Virgin and Child is an important work within the small body of paintings attributed to Pesellino, a celebrated, but little-studied fifteenth-century Florentine master whose paintings were collected by the Medici family. Made at a time when painted and sculpted half-length Virgin and Child images were becoming standard features in middle and upper class Florentine homes, Pesellino’s painting has much in common with the work of the most successful Madonna manufacturers of the day — Filippo Lippi, Donatello, and Luca della Robbia. There is tension between the sacred and profane within the picture. The holy protagonists are positioned close to the picture plane, creating a sense of intimacy and accessibility. The Christ Child — appealingly childlike — meets the eye of the beholder. In contrast, the Virgin refuses visual engagement: she asserts decorum and distance; her physical grace and beauty are designated sacred, not of this world.

Source: Megan Holmes, "Virgin and Child with a Swallow," in Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 49.

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Quality


Gardner Museum Custom Prints is your exclusive source for custom reproductions authorized and available for purchase directly from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. All items that are offered are produced using gallery-quality materials and the color is managed in a manner that produces a reproduction as true to the original as modern technology will allow.

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Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. In addition, new works are continually added to the offering, so come back often to see our new releases.

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