In terms of the way in which the space is conceived and organised, this is one of the best panels in the whole series of paintings from the altarpiece, and the artistic quality both of the background and of the plant species in the foreground is quite remarkable.
This scene almost always takes place in the open air, in front of the house of Elizabeth, who comes out to greet Mary. The theme of the Visitation shows Mary and Elizabeth as two women that share the same feelings.
This composition is dominated in the foreground by the figures of the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, depicted in a traditional triangular structure.
The linear and aerial perspective is used correctly, making it possible to create the impression of a city.
On the right, with a descriptive detail that runs through and dominates the representation of the city, we find people and animals depicted along almost expressionistic lines, just like the elegant figures placed next to the city gate.


  • Title: Visitation
  • Creator: Vasco Fernandes, Francisco Henriques
  • Date Created: 1501-1506
  • Physical Location: Grâo Vasco Nacional Museum, Viseu, Portugal
  • Location Created: Panel of the former altarpiece of the chancel of Viseu Cathedral, 1501-1506
  • Physical Dimensions: 131.5 cm x 81.2 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on oak wood

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