The painting shows the youthful Virgin playing with her infant son, who is seated on a cushion in her lap.

The child's attention has been caught by the delicate flowers she holds, the pinks, which are symbolic of love and betrothal. The work conveys a quality of simple human pleasure in a moment of intimacy. It dates from the period when Raphael went to Florence to study the great masters of his day. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.


Private collection, France by 1817; Vincenzo Camuccini, Paris, circa 1828; Camuccini collection, Rome; Algernon, 4th Duke of Northumberland, 1853; by descent; on loan to the National Gallery since 1992.

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