Madonna of the Magnificat

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After Sandro Botticelli
1444 or 1445-1510
Florence, Italy, ca. 1490
Oil on panel.
panel: 37 3/8 inches (950 mm) diameter
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1911.

This is one of more than a dozen versions made by contemporaries of Botticelli after an original that the artist painted ca. 1481. The many versions attest to the immediate success of Botticelli's composition and its appeal to contemporary Florentine collectors. The title derives from the opening words of the Virgin's song of exaltation, Magnificat anima mea dominum (My soul doth glorify the Lord), which she is writing in the book before her.

Casa Alessandri, via degli Albizzi, Florence, 1864; purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan from Elia Volpi, November 1911.