Carlo Crivelli, 'Virgin and Child'

Carlo Crivelli, 'Virgin and Child'

Carlo Crivelli (active 1457-1493)
'Virgin and Child'
About 1480
Tempera on panel
Museum no. 492-1882

Although born and trained in Venice, Crivelli was forced to leave and settle in the town of Zara, and then went on to travel throughout the Italian Marches. Crivelli specialised in painting altarpieces. However the small size of this painting suggests it that was never part of an altarpiece, but intended for private devotion. As in other works by this artist, the various flowers and fruits have a symbolic as well as a decorative function. The carnation symbolises the Incarnation and Passion of Christ and the violet is one of many symbols of the Virgin. The apple symbolises death, as does the leafless tree in the right hand background, while the vine growing through it suggests the crucified Christ.