Virgin and Child between Saint Helena and St Francis

about 1520
medium: oil on panel
size: 85.5 x 71.1 cm
artist: Amico Aspertini

National Museum, Cardiff
NMW A 239

Description from National Museum website: At the bottom stone-coloured figures depict Moses and the Golden Calf, the Virgin and Child, and Josiah destroying the false altars. These events and the presence of St Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine and famous for her adoration of the Cross on which Christ was crucified, indicate that the principal theme is the triumph of Christianity over paganism. The Child wears a red coral necklace, an Italian charm against the Evil Eye. Beneath his foot is a crystal sphere with God creating Adam. This work was in the collection of William Roscoe at Liverpool by 1816, where the painter Henry Fuseli attributed it to Ghirlandaio and Michelangelo.


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