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Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475  1564)  Madonna and Child with St John and Angels,   also known as The Manchester Madonna  c. 1497  Tempera on panel  105 cm × 76 cm (41 in × 30 in)  National Gallery, London, Ontario, UK
Goback 11 / 20 Forward

Title: Manchester Madonna
Description:
 
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564)
Madonna and Child with St John and Angels, 
also known as The Manchester Madonna
c. 1497
Tempera on panel
105 cm × 76 cm (41 in × 30 in)
National Gallery, London, Ontario, UK

The Madonna and Child with St John and Angels (c. 1497), also known as The Manchester Madonna, is an unfinished painting by Michelangelo in the National Gallery, London. It is one of the four panel paintings by the artist, dating to Michelangelo's first period in Rome. The painting's attribution to Michelangelo was in doubt for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, but scholars now consider it an authentic work by the master. The work acquired the name "Manchester Madonnna" after being displayed in the Art Treasures Exhibition there in 1857.

The scene depicted is the meeting of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child with Christ's cousin St John the Baptist, an event which is supposed to have occurred after the Holy Family's return Egypt. The Virgin is depicted with one breast bared, as if she has recently been suckling her infant son; this recalls the theme of the Virgin breastfeeding common in medieval painting. In her hands is a book which she attempts to hold away her son, the contents of which probably foretell his future sacrifice. She looks over her left shoulder onto a scroll being read by a pair of angels; this is likely to be the scroll reading Ecce Agnus Dei ('Behold the Lamb of God'), usually an attribute of John the Baptist.

The figures are arranged as if in a frieze, revealing Michelangelo's sculptor's mindset. The frieze becomes more convex at its centre with the figures of Virgin and Child, as in the later Pitti Tondo. Another similarity to relief sculpture is in the plain background: rather than the landscapes more common for exterior settings, Michelangelo has simply painted an expanse of sky. He also eschewed the richly-decorated throne typical of sacra conversazione altarpieces, and de-emphasised the angels' wings.

Many areas of the painting are in a preliminary state; the black of the Virgin's robe was meant to be overpainted with the rich blue pigment lapis lazuli, and the angels on the left are indicated only by the green underpaint used for flesh tones.

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Goback 11 / 20 Forward
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475  1564)  Study for Adam  c. 1510  Red chalk, 19,3 x 25,9 cm  British Museum, London, UKMichelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475  1564)  Madonna and Child with St John and Angels,   also known as The Manchester Madonna  c. 1497  Tempera on panel  105 cm × 76 cm (41 in × 30 in)  National Gallery, London, Ontario, UKMichelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475  1564)  The Entombment   circa 1500-1501  Tempera on panel  162 cm × 150 cm (64 in × 59 in)  National Gallery, London, UK
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