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The Virgin Mary adores the Christ Child sleeping on her lap. Giovanni Bellini was one of the first Italian painters to use natural settings to enhance the meaning of his pictures. Here, the still Virgin contrasts with the landscape, where the varying shapes of the clouds, from thin and wispy to fat and fluffy, and the shadows on them give the impression of changeable weather. The clarity of the light, which casts a pale glow on everything it touches, from the Virgin’s right sleeve to the walls of the castle in the distance, suggests it is springtime.
Oil and egg on synthetic panel, transferred from wood
H 67.3 x W 86.4 cm