Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist

about 1500
Sandro Botticelli (Italian (Florentine), 1444 or 1445–1510)


123.8 x 84.4 cm (48 3/4 x 33 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera on panel

On View

Italian Renaissance Gallery E (Gallery 219)





Botticelli was renowned for the refinement and sweet delicacy of his figures. Patronized by the leading families of Florence, he also received important public commissions and ran a large workshop with many assistants. This painting, intended for private devotion, possesses characteristics of Botticelli’s later manner-a certain stiffness in the profiles and drapery folds, a continued elegance as in the hands of the Virgin and Saint John, and such improvised details as the free painting of roses on top of the lilies originally sketched at right.


By 1854, E. Joly de Bammeville, Paris; June 12, 1854, sold by Bammeville at Christie's, London, lot 51 and bought by Alexander Barker, London and Hatfield (near Doncaster), South Yorkshire, England; June 6, 1874, sold by Barker at Christie's, London, lot 91, and bought by Brooks. By 1895, Charles Fairfax Murray, London and Florence; 1895, sold by Murray to Agnew's, London (Agnew's stock no. 7172); 1895, sold by Agnew's to Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow, Boston (d. 1926) for the MFA for $5000. (Accession Date: December 1, 1895)

Credit Line

Sarah Greene Timmins Fund