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Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist, Saint Cecilia, and Angels

A work made of oil on poplar panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on poplar panel.


c. 1505


Piero di Cosimo
Italian, 1461/62–1521

About this artwork

One of the most unorthodox artists in Renaissance Florence, Piero di Cosimo created paintings full of imaginative inventions that enliven traditional themes. Here, John the Baptist offers plums to the infant Jesus, who eagerly devours one while another lies half-eaten on the ground. At right, Saint Cecilia, patron of musicians, sings from a book of music, while wingless angels look on in the background.

The shadowed effect in the figures surrounding the Virgin and Child indicate that Piero altered his plans for the composition after he had begun painting: the artist painted them on top of the dark background color, which shows through the thin layers of paint on the surface.


On View, Gallery 205


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Piero di Cosimo


Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist, Saint Cecilia, and Angels


Italy (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on poplar panel


Diam.: 75 cm (29 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Lacy Armour Fund

Reference Number


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