- Reference number
- Sarto, Andrea del
- The Virgin and Child between Saint Matthew and an Angel
- 177 cm x 135 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection
The Virgin Mary holds the Christ Child, flanked on the right by an angel and, on the left, by Saint Matthew. The landscape in the background shows a scene from the Apocrypha (Proto-Gospel of Saint James): Saint Elisabeth and Saint John the Baptist fleeing from the Slaughter of the Innocents.
The presence of Saint Matthew in this composition is explained by the fact the it was commissioned by a banker: Lorenzo di Bernardo Jacopi. Saint Matthew is considered the patron of bankers because he was a publican, a tax collector for the Roman Empire, until he received the calling from Christ (Matthew 9, 9).
This work entered the Royal Collection during the reign of Felipe IV (1605-1665). In 1819, it entered the Prado Museum from the Monastery of El Escorial.