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The Virgin and Child Embracing

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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The infant Christ stands on the lap of the Virgin Mary, reaching forward to give her a kiss. She turns her cheek to receive her son’s embrace, supporting him as he seems to be a little unsteady on his feet. Strong lighting emphasises the smooth, pale skin of both figures as well as Christ’s golden hair, though it leaves much of his face in shadow. Sassoferrato has given great attention to the folds of drapery, both in the Virgin’s blue cloak and in the deep green curtain behind the two figures. Through an archway, we see Saint Joseph coming towards the house and, behind him, a view of distant mountains.

The National Gallery, London





Oil on canvas


H 97.2 x W 74 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1864

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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