(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)

The Virgin and Child with Two Angels and the Young St John the Baptist

Tempera on panel, 85 x 62 cm
Galleria dell Accademia, Florence

This picture of the Virgin by Botticelli is among his earliest paintings. It reveals the close extent to which the young artist imitated the depictions of the Virgin done by Fra Filippo Lippi, his teacher.

Supported by an angel, Mary is holding her child on her knees. Her eyes are inaccessibly lowered. The group is flanked by another angel and the young Baptist, who is added to the composition in a somewhat helpless manner to the right behind Mary. The translucent veil and the gold braid trimming of Mary's cloak are signs of Botticelli's love of ornamentation.