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The Virgin and Child with John the Baptist, Saint Barbara and Donors, ca. 1475 - ca. 1500

  • oil paint, panel
  • 77 x 84.6 cm
  • Inv. 1969-E

Public Domain

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This late fifteenth-century panel of the Virgin and Child with Donors and Patron Saints has been attributed to various masters. Until recently, it was considered a work from the hand of an anonymous Cologne master, but it is now placed in the environment of a Bruges master, either the Master of the Legend of Saint Ursula or the Master of the Legend of Saint Lucia, both contemporaries of Hans Memling. This is based on striking similarities in style and composition. The composition that we find here was apparently very popular in Bruges at the end of the 15th Century. On either side of Mary's throne, the donors are kneeling in prayer. Behind them are the patron saints with their attributes: John the Baptist with the lamb and Barbara with the tower, in which, according to legend, she was locked up by her father. According to medieval custom, the donors are depicted considerably smaller than the saints.


Anonymous Master
painters (artists)AAT

Title The Virgin and Child with John the Baptist, Saint Barbara and Donors
Date ca. 1475 - ca. 1500
Period 15th century
Location Bruges TGN
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1969-E
Acquisition credit gift
The Friends of the Museum
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300055874 religious symbolism AAT
Keywords Iconclass 11F4211 Mary sitting or enthroned, the Christ-child in front of her, standing in her lap (or in front of her bosom) Iconclass
11F713(+5) Christ-child looking towards saint(s) or donor(s) ~ Madonna-representations (+ donor(s), supplicant(s), whether or not with patron saint(s)) Iconclass
11H saints Iconclass
11H(JOHN THE BAPTIST) John the Baptist; possible attributes: book, reed cross, baptismal cup, honeycomb, lamb, staff Iconclass
11HH female saints Iconclass
11HH(BARBARA) the virgin martyr Barbara; possible attributes: book, cannon(ball), crown, cross, chalice with wafer, Dioscuros (her father), peacock feather, sword, torches, mason's tools, tower Iconclass
11HH(BARBARA)11 St. Barbara as patroness Iconclass
11Q511 the Bible as a book Iconclass
34B11 dog Iconclass
41A361 tower (of house or building) Iconclass
47I2133 lamb Iconclass
73 New Testament Iconclass
School / Style Early Netherlandish
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Catalogus schilderkunst ; Deel I: 14de - 18de eeuw ; Deel II: 19de - 20ste eeuw / Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Bruno Fornari, Ruth Monteyne. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2007 (dl. I, p. 170-171 (ill.))
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