In the presence of Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Museo del Prado
, Concepción Dancausa, Deputy Mayoress and regional minister of Finance, and Pedro Corral, regional minister of Arts, Sport and Tourism, José Pedro Pérez-Llorca, President of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo Nacional del Prado, and Ana Botella, Mayoress of Madrid, signed an agreement that will allow for the display at the Prado of Virgin and Child enthroned by Pedro Berruguete. The painting, which has been on display in the Museo de San Isidro, will be shown in Room 57B at the Prado, which is one of the worlds leading art museums, fully contextualised within its period and within the Prados museological discourse. This deposit will last for five years and can be extended, as established in the terms of the agreement signed by the two institutions today.
In response to the deposit of the painting on the part of the City Council of Madrid, the Prado has added to the group of forty paintings that it has on long-term deposit with the City Council (Museo de Historia), adding a further seven works that are directly related to the Madrid in terms of their subject matter. These are Mariana of Austria, anonymous artist; Philip V of Spain by Hyacinthe Rigaud; Prince Baltasar Carlos, studio of Velázquez; Barbara of Braganza, anonymous artist; Charles V and Philip II by Antonio Arias Fernández; and Drinkers seated at a table in the Café de Levante in Madrid, and Men talking in the Café de Levante in Madrid, both by Leonardo Alenza Nieto. In addition, the Prado is lending The Virgin of Atocha by Juan Carreño de Miranda, which will be displayed in the place of Virgin and Child enthroned in the Museo de San Isidro. In both artistic and iconographic terms this is an important work by the 17th-century Madrid painter Carreño, who was the most celebrated artist in the depiction of the Virgins of Atocha and Almudena.
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 Councils 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 Catholics 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 Berruguetes panel came to be hung on the wall of the Mayors 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.