The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Virgin and Child
  • Sassoferrato (1609 - 1685)
  • The Virgin and Child
  • Italy
  • c. 1640 - c. 1685
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 46 x 43.2 cm, oval
    Frame size: 76 x 72.5 x 10.5 cm
  • P126
  • Great Gallery
Further Reading
  • This is a typical example of Sassoferrato’s small-scale pictures
    of the Virgin; here, the rigorous triangular composition is closely based
    on an oval etching, in reverse, after the seventeenth-century Bolognese
    painter Guido Reni. The vogue for such images was stimulated by the Marian
    cult in the Counter Reformation, and Sassoferrato appears to have painted
    them in quantity, keeping a reserve stock to meet ever-increasing demand.
    This composition was repeated many times, although this appears to be the
    only oval version. Such sentimental imagery accorded well with the taste
    of the 4th Marquess of Hertford, who bought two versions of the
    same subject (the other is displayed on the same wall), but otherwise
    demonstrated little interest in Italian religious painting of the period.