38. Giovanni di Pietro, called Lo Spagna

Perugia circa 1450 – 1528 Spoleto

The Virgin Adoring the Child

With her hands joined in prayer, the Virgin gazes intently at the Christ Child lying on her knees. Her gesture em­phasises the sacred nature of this study, probably a pre­paratory drawing for a religious commission, but in no way detracts from the palpable affection with which the pair look at one another. Mary’s round, smiling face has a Raphaelesque quality, often found in the art of Lo Spagna. The artist apparently wished to contain this group in a triangular composition, to the extent of altering the anat­omy of the figures. The gap between Mary’s upper body and her hips seems abnormally large, but it created enough space for the representation of the child.