The Virgin and Child with Saint Andrew and Saint Peter (unfinished)
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The Virgin and Child with Saint Andrew and Saint Peter (unfinished) late 15th or early 16th century

On Display Scottish National Gallery

This unfinished devotional panel provides fascinating insights into Cima's working methods. The Virgin and Christ Child, seated on rocks in a landscape, are flanked by St Andrew on the left and St Peter. The visible white ground is gesso which provided a smooth surface for the under drawing, made here with the tip of a brush dipped in black ink. Shading is indicated by fine parallel lines called hatching. The paint (coloured pigment mixed with linseed oil) was applied in layers and would have been completed with enriching glazes and highlights. The blue paint in the sky is not original.

Glossary Open

Devotional art

Religious images used privately as a focus of prayer or an aid to meditation.

Gesso

The Italian word for 'gypsum' - a mineral mixed with animal skin glue used to coat a surface in preparation for painting or the application of gold leaf.

Glaze

A thin transparent coating on the surface of a painting; or, in ceramics, a surface coating that makes the object watertight and is frequently decorative.

Ground

The material used to coat a surface in preparation for painting or, more generally, the surface on which a drawing or painting is made.

Pigment

The colouring element in paint or dye.

Devotional art, Gesso, Glaze, Ground, Pigment

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 1190
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size Painted area: 47.70 x 39.70 cm; 55.60 x 47.20 cm (framed: 62.70 x 54.30 x 8.10 cm)
  • Credit Presented by Miss Margaret Peter Dove 1915