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A bold sweep of green curtain separates the holy world of the Virgin Mary and her infant son Christ from the outdoors. Mary’s wildly elongated body is typical of the artist. Despite the elegance of the composition, Parmigianino left this picture unfinished. Many areas are unresolved; for instance, three positions for the Virgin’s lowest foot remain visible. He was working in Rome, and may have abandoned this painting when the city was invaded in 1527.

The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)



Virgin and Child




oil on panel


H 63.5 x W 50.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Count Antoine Seilern, 1978

Work type



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The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Somerset House, Strand, London, Greater London WC2R 0RN England

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