About this artwork

This drawing unites two traditional forms of representing the Virgin and Child. Firstly, the image of the Virgin suckling the infant Christ highlights her position as the nurturer of Christ, and through him, carer of all humanity (Virgo Lactans). Secondly, the book that she holds in her left hand is a symbol of her divine wisdom and her submission to the word and will of God (Mother of Wisdom). The freehand and ruled lines towards the margins of the sheet indicate that Farinati gave some thought as to how best to frame the group. This may imply that the drawing was a preparatory study for a painting or print, although no corresponding work is known.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    The Virgin and Child Under a Tree
  • date created:
    about 1590 - 1600
  • materials:
    Pen, brown ink and wash heightened with white on blue paper
  • measurements:
    27.70 x 21.10 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910
  • accession number:
    D 1577
  • gallery:
    View by Appointment
  • depicted:
  • subject:
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Paolo Farinati

Paolo Farinati