Sandro Botticelli, Maestà Madonna and Child

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Sandro Botticelli

Maestà Madonna and Child (1468)

This early work by Botticelli closely resembles the styles of his teachers: Verrocchio and Filippo Lippi. The scene depicts the Virgin and child with two angels, as well as John the Baptist. One of the angels looks at the viewer, while the other supports the Christ child. Both Mary and John the Baptist express deep contemplation through their downward cast eyes. We do not know the patron or original site of the work, but scholars believe that the patron intended the piece to be used for private devotion. The work did end up in the Ospedale di Santa Maria Nuova where it remained until 1900. While the piece was in the Ospedale, it was attributed to Filippo Lippi, who strongly influenced Botticelli.


Lightbown, Ronald. Sandro Botticelli: Life and Work (vol. 2). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.

Galleria Accademia Firenze. “Virgin and Child with the Young St. John the Baptist and Two Angels.”