The Virgin and Child Enthroned between a Soldier Saint, and Saint John the Baptist (La Pala Strozzi)

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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The Virgin Mary and Christ Child are seated on a marble throne, which is elevated by two plinths decorated with biblical scenes. Below them stand two saints, Saint John the Baptist and probably Saint George in armour.

A number of changes suggest that the altarpiece was painted in more than one stage. The first version of the Virgin’s cloak was almost entirely repainted, for example, and Christ’s arm was altered. More radically, pairs of cherubic heads once seemed to float in the air around the Virgin. Some art historians have argued that the altarpiece was begun by one artist and finished by another, but the extensive changes don't necessarily mean that different artists were involved. Lorenzo Costa’s artistic ideals underwent a radical transformation around the time this altarpiece was painted, and the simplification of the setting and redesign of the drapery reflect the pictorial style of his later years.

The National Gallery, London



The Virgin and Child Enthroned between a Soldier Saint, and Saint John the Baptist (La Pala Strozzi)


probably 1499


Oil and tempera on wood


H 247 x W 163.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1882

Work type



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