MORONE, Francesco
(b. ca. 1471, Verona, d. 1529, Verona)

Virgin and Child

Tempera on spruce panel, 62 x 43 cm
National Gallery, London

The Virgin appears lost in thought as she firmly clutches her son to her. The infant Christ holds an apple in one hand, symbolising his role as the new Adam, born to redeem mankind from original sin after the Fall.

The painting is a fragment of an altarpiece, and has been cut down. The foreshortened arms of the Virgin’s throne suggest that it was originally placed quite high above the viewer, probably flanked by standing saints.The wood it is painted on was severely damaged by woodworm, which may explain why it was cut.

Morone was one of the leading painters in Verona in the early sixteenth century. The very rich, bright colours and the clear light which sharply illuminates every detail are typical of Veronese art of the period. The painting is a late work and probably dates from the 1520s.