Detail of the work

In 1951 the art historian Manuel Gómez Moreno correctly attributed this panel of Virgin and Child enthroned to Pedro Berruguete after it was found between old planks and religious sculptures in one of the City Council’s storerooms with no knowledge of how it had arrived there or where it was from.

The painting may have come from the Hospital de la Concepción, founded by Francisco Ramírez and administered by his wife Beatriz Galindo after his death in 1501. The Hospital was popularly known as the “Hospital of La Latina” in reference to Beatriz. Known as “La Latina”, she was Isabel the Catholic’s Latin teacher and enjoyed close relations with the Queen. The City Council later took charge of the furnishings from the Hospital and while there is no documentary reference to confirm the presence of the painting there, it would seem likely that it was commissioned by “La Latina”, who may have had it painted specifically for the Hospital or, bearing in mind its small size, have originally used it herself as a private devotional work before donating it to that institution.

Centuries later Berruguete’s panel came to be hung on the wall of the Mayor’s office. At the time when Tierno Galván occupied that position the decision was made to send it on deposit to the Museo Municipal (now the Museo de Historia de Madrid) in calle Fuencarral where it was on display until that museum closed for building work in 2008. It was then moved to the Museo de San Isidro where it has remained until now.

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