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

The Virgin and Child with Three Angels (Madonna del Padiglione)

c. 1493
Tempera on panel, diameter 65 cm
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan

The Virgin and Child with Three Angels is called Madonna of the Tent or Ambrosiana Tondo. It may perhaps be identified with the one seen by Vasari in the chamber of the Prior of the Camaldolese monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence.

Two angels are ceremoniously opening the curtains of a baldachin-like tent, underneath which a further heavenly messenger is carrying the Christ Child to his mother. Mary is kneeling and has bared her breast in order to feed the child. The unusual size of the figure of Mary is a characteristic of Botticelli's late work; he frequently emphasized the importance of the main figures in his scenes by increasing their size.