In this small, intimate painting, the holy couple have the natural look of a real mother and child. In this respect the picture is very different from a large, formal altarpiece, and it was no doubt made for private devotion rather than for a church. The saint kissing the Child’s foot is probably St John the Baptist, and may be a portrait of the man who commissioned the painting. The artist’s subtle lighting of the landscape and his sensitivity to the beauty of colour are typical of the Venetian school.


  • Title: The Virgin and Child with a Saint
  • Creator: Bartolomeo Montagna
  • Creator Lifespan: About 1440
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Vicenza, Italy
  • Creator Birth Place: Orzinuovi, nr Brescia, Italy or Biron, nr Vicenza, Italy
  • Date Created: About 1483
  • tag / style: Bartolomeo Montagna; Virgin; child; St John the Baptist; kissing; Venetian school; Mary; rocks; landscape
  • Physical Dimensions: w366 x h378 cm (Without frame)
  • Additional artwork information: To learn more about the Walker Art Gallery's 13th-16th-century collections, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/13c-16c/
  • Type: Oil on wood panel
  • Rights: Purchased with the aid of contributions from the V&A, the Art Fund, Pilgrim Trust, Special Appeal fund and the Mayor Bequest in 1978

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