About this artwork

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.