The garden represents Eden. The white orange blossoms symbolize Mary’s virginity. And, the sleeping Jesus and the stone sarcophagus Mary is sitting on foreshadow the death of Christ. Within the gilded scrolls at the top of this painting are two angels in either corner representing the Annunciation.
Italian Renaissance painter Cosimo Tura (1430-1495) completed this work sometime between 1460 and 1470. It is painted with tempera on wood and measures 53.4 x 37.2 cm.
Much of Tura’s work is recognizable for elongated and distorted features of his subjects. Mary’s elongated hands are a fine example and perhaps her seemingly over-tall forehead is as well.
To learn more about this famous Italian artist and see more examples of his work, please visit our Cosimo Tura biography.