The Virgin and Child Appearing to Two Bishops

Two bishops pay homage to the Virgin Mary and Christ Child, who float above them in the center of this drawing. The bishop on the left points up in the direction of the mother and child, while the other gazes up open-mouthed and prays to the pair. Scholars guess that these bishops may be Isidro and Leandro, patron saints of Seville, or two Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church. The artist probably produced this composition for a devotional picture. The red chalk is applied energetically, loosely outlining the form of the Virgin and Child with strong, swirling strokes. Broad diagonal lines create the billowing clouds that support the Virgin and Child and give the scene immediacy and vigor. Similarly, strong outlines and diagonal hatching create volume on the cloaks of the two bishops.

Red chalk (about 1680)

by Unknown maker, Spanish School

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