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

Madonna and Child with an Angel

c. 1470
Tempera on wood, 84 x 65 cm
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

This painting shows the synthesis of trends that formed the style of Botticelli's painting. The composition of the painting resembles Lippi's art, but the figures are more delicately blended into the painting and their expressions and poses are more complicated.

Behind the monumental, very sculptural figures is a broad, hilly landscape with a river. The boy-like angel appears to have just this moment stepped through the gap in the wall and come up to Mary and the child; he is presenting them with a bowl decorated with ears of grain and full of grapes. The Christ Child is blessing the gifts, which symbolize the bread and wine of the Eucharist.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
César Franck: Panis angelicus