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Francesco Pesellino - Virgin and Child, about 1453 - 1457

Francesco Pesellino (Florence, about 1422 - 1457, Florence)

Virgin and Child with a Swallow, about 1453 - 1457

Tempera on panel , 59.7 x 39.5 cm (23 1/2 x 15 9/16 in.)


The most innovative painter in mid fifteenth-century Florence, Pesellino worked for Cosimo de’ Medici and Pope Nicholas V. This painting of the Virgin and Child with a swallow was one of the most reproduced paintings in fifteenth century Florence. Positioned in an architectural niche, the Virgin tenderly supports her child and bows her head, while the Christ Child meets the eye of the viewer and holds a swallow--a symbol of the resurrection.

Isabella was a pioneer in collecting Renaissance paintings, and this panel was the first work by Pesellino in an American collection.