About this artwork

This arresting image of the Virgin and Christ Child presents a tantalising example of illusionistic painting. The canvas or parchment on which the artist appears to have been painting, seems miraculously torn away from its wooden stretcher, to reveal a vision of the Holy figures. This illusion is enhanced by the tattered edges of parchment, the tacking strip, and the fly, on one of the apparently projecting pieces, at the bottom left. The elegant, elongated Virgin holds a pomegranate, a symbol of the Resurrection, while the tiny Christ Child is asleep, a reference to his future Passion.

Ferrarese School

Ferrarese School

Artists who cannot be identified specifically, but whose work is similar in style to those produced by known painters associated with a particular city, region or country, are said to belong to a 'school' of that name. If a painting is described as of the 'Ferrarese school' this means that it is probably by a painter working in the northern Italian city of Ferrara.