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Painted for the 4th Marquess of Hertford. The composition, with the Virgin’s raised eyes, anticipates the traditional subject of the pietà, the body of the dead Christ in the lap of the Virgin – an original conception as Delaroche himself realised. It also suggests the Rest on the Flight into Egypt. 'The Virgin and Child' may be idealised portraits of the artist’s wife, Louise Vernet, and younger son, Philippe, born in 1841. The landscape is probably based on studies made at the quarries at Cervara, about six miles to the east of Rome. Delaroche regarded the picture as one of his best works.

The Wallace Collection



The Virgin and Child




oil on canvas


H 147.7 x W 87.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1845; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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