The Virgin is dressed in a tone of blue which was normally used by artists around this time to denote her identity. Fra Angelico would, of course, produce many depictions of the Madonna and Child across his career as these were frequently requested by patrons. The most unique element to this composition would be the inclusion of the pomegranate, which the child picks from whilst sitting on the Virgin's knee. He has a large halo to signify his own importance, and this is painted in gold by the artist which helps it to stand out from the mother's clothing behind. The bright red tone of the child's clothing is also particularly striking and the two tones together make this a charming variant of his work on this theme. Other interpretations from his career featuring these two iconic figures included the likes of San Marco Altarpiece, Tabernacle of the Linaioli and Perugia Altarpiece.
The artist would paint several artworks for the Dominican convent of San Domenico in Fiesole, which is a small town on the outskirts of the city of Florence. Shortly after producing one of his Annunciation pieces he would take on this commission. The pomegranate featured in this artwork, and used by many other Renaissance artists in similar depictions, provides a direct reference to the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. The artist adds to the two figures by including further supporting elements behind within a composition which is fairly tightly packed into a narrow panel. The angels hold up a patterned cloth in the background which suggests love and care towards the mother and child in the foreground.
Visitors to the Prado Museum in Madrid will be able to view The Virgin with the Pomegranate by Fra Angelico as part of an impressive collection which spans many centuries and focuses mostly on European art. It is believed that they acquired this piece as recently as 2016 as part of a purchase by their foundation which aims to protect and strengthen the museum's collection. Previously, the painting was owned by Carlos Miguel Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, 14th Duke of Alba, Florence from the early 19th century and then subsequently passed on through his family. The museum list this painting as being 87cm in height, and 59cm in width, though that includes an ornate frame, making the original tempera work somewhat smaller than that. Those fortunate enough to visit the Prado Museum will also be able to check out some other famous works from the history of European art, such as The Third of May 1808 by Francisco de Goya, The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Saturn Devouring His Son also by Francisco de Goya.