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Francesco Botticini

Madonna Adoring the Christ Child


Francesco Botticini
Florence 1446 – Florence 1497


Madonna Adoring the Christ Child


About 1475


Oil on wood


105.4 x 72.4 cm


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1956.1154


Western Art

The subject of the Virgin and Child in a landscape setting is most strongly associated with Leonardo and Raphael. The seemingly simple composition belies the skill with which Botticini has depicted the landscape, the three-dimensionality of the bodies, and the different personalities of an adult woman and a child. The artist has also taken evident delight in the representation of different flowers. Although it seems that Botticini abandoned the overt “symbolism” of earlier Italian art, it is likely that the roughly hewn stones in the background refer to the temples of old paganism that must now make way for the new religion of Christianity. Botticini’s Florence Workshop was known for its decorative works where his contemporary influences, such as Botticelli, were visible, as seen here.

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