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Sandro Botticelli (1446 – 1510)
Madonna and Child
 c. 1470, tempera and oil on wood, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.21


After 1870 restoration. Photograph: Fratelli Alinari, before 1893, silver gelatin print (cropped)



This Madonna and Child by Sandro Botticelli was probably first restored around 1870, when the dress of the Madonna and the face and chest of the Child were heavily repainted. The background landscape was possibly also added at this time to replace an area where the gesso was missing.


After 1936 restoration. Photograph: unknown, after 1936, carbon print


The painting was restored again in 1936 while in the possession of the dealer, Joseph Duveen. Thisconservator replaced the former landscape with one of his own, changed the shape of the veil of the Madonna, and removed the (probably original) drapery over the child’s left leg.


Current state. Photograph: National Gallery of Art


The current state of the painting largely reflects the 1936 conservation. Much of the early varnish and inpainting has discolored, especially in the crack that extends from the bottom of the painting into the child’s foot and left leg.