The Madonna and Child belongs to the museum’s small group of early Italian paintings. In 2005, after years of uncertainty about its attribution, the work was firmly ascribed to Fra Angelico.

Fra Angelico was one of the leading Italian artists of the early Renaissance. His work reflects a transition from the Middle Ages to the new era. The gold background in this painting, for example, still shows the influence of mediaeval art, whereas the sculptural rendering of the mother and child leave no doubt that the artist was aware of the innovations of his time.

Fra Angelico received numerous commissions from the Dominican Order in Florence, of which he himself was a member. He also had clients among the Italian elite and was summoned to Rome by Pope Eugene IV in order to decorate a chapel in the Vatican. Nothing is known today about the original owner of the Madonna and Child or the place for which it was made. The coats of arms in the left and right sections of the predella (the base of the panel) were probably those of the patron or patrons, but they are unfortunately no longer discernible.


  • Title: Madonna and Child with Two Angels
  • Date Created: circa 1420
  • Theme: Christianity
  • Tags: Early Renaissance
  • Physical Dimensions: w470 x h805 cm (Without frame)
  • Painter: Fra Angelico
  • Artist Information: Fra Angelico was born as Guido di Pietro in the vicinity of Florence. He is said to have joined the Dominican order in 1404 and was then given the official name of Fra Giovanni da Fiesole. As painter within this order, he used art for didactic ends: in his work, he visualised stories from the Bible. Because of this, he work had a simple and direct character. The only known works by the artist were commissioned by churches and monasteries. Fra Angelico died in Rome in 1455 and was buried in the Dominican church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958, http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/disclaimer/
  • External Link: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Medium: Tempera on panel

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