Virgin and Child

Copy after Jan Gossart (called Mabuse) (Netherlandish, ca. 1522)

Oil on wood
Overall 17 7/8 x 13 5/8 in. (45.4 x 34.6 cm); painted surface 17 1/4 x 13 in. (43.8 x 33 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    In his Schilder-Boeck (Book on Picturing) of 1604 Karel van Mander wrote about Jan Gossart: " . . . when in the service of the marquis de Veere, Mabuse [Gossart] painted an image of Mary in which the face was painted after the marquis' wife and the little child after her child . . . " This painting may be a replica of Gossart’s lost original portrait of Anna van Bergen, the wife of Adolf of Burgundy, marquis de Veere, and their son, Hendrik, in the guise of the Virgin and Child. As such, Anna aspired to emulate the standard of ideal virtue and motherhood exemplified by the Virgin.

  • Catalogue Entry


  • Provenance

    Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House, Salisbury; Rodolphe Kann, Paris; J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (until d. 1913; his estate, 1913–17)

  • Exhibition History

    Rotterdam. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. "Jean Gossaert dit Mabuse," May 15–June 27, 1965, no. 22.

    Bruges. Groeninge Museum. "Jean Gossaert dit Mabuse," July 10–August 31, 1965, no. 22.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 22, 1998–February 21, 1999, no. 40.

    Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "El retrato del Renacimiento," June 3–September 7, 2008, no. 57.

    London. National Gallery. "Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian," October 15, 2008–January 18, 2009, no. 26.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance," October 6, 2010–January 17, 2011, no. 37.

    London. National Gallery. "Jan Gossaert's Renaissance," February 23–May 30, 2011, no. 37.

  • References

    Carel van Mander. Het Schilderboeck . . . Haarlem, 1604 [see "Carel van Mander: Dutch and Flemish Painters, Translation from the Schilderboek," 1936, trans. Constant van de Wall, New York: McFarlane, pp. 101–2], describes Gossart's portrait of the Marquise of Veere, Anne de Berghes, and her son, posed as the Virgin and Child; states that it belonged to the Lord of Froimont in Gouda.

    Ernst Weisz. Jan Gossart gen. Mabuse: Sein Leben und Seine Werke. Parchim i. M., Germany, 1913, pp. 86–87, observes that one of the best examples of the portrait is in the Weber collection in Hamburg and reproduces the Brussels version.

    Max J. Friedländer. Von Eyck bis Bruegel: Studien zur Geschichte der Niederländischen Malerei. Berlin, 1916, pp. 132–33, mentions the version formerly in the Kann collection [the MMA picture] as one of the good replicas, close in handling to Gossart's work.

    [F.] Winkler in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 14, Leipzig, 1921, p. 412, mentions this picture with copies after Gossart's paintings as in the Kann collection, Paris; refers to it as "eigenhändig?" [autograph?].

    Tancred Borenius. A Catalogue of the Pictures, Etc. at 18 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, Collected by Viscount and Viscountess Lee of Fareham. 2, [Oxford], 1926, under no. 92, refers to our painting as a version of "poor quality".

    Max J. Friedländer. "Jan Gossart Bernart van Orley." Die altniederländische Malerei. 8, Berlin, 1930, pp. 16, 54, 157, no. 39a, pl. 36, lists many replicas, observing that none can be identified with certainty as the original; calls our picture one of the better replicas along with the paintings in the collections of the Earl of Radnor and Viscount Lee of Fareham.

    Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 142–43, ill., believe that in his discussion of the portrait Van Mander [Ref. 1604] had this picture or one of its replicas in mind because "the appearance of the Virgin accords with the drawing of the Marquise that exists in the Requeil d'Arras" (Bibliothèque Municipale, Arras).

    Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, p. 89.

    Gert von der Osten. "Studien zu Jan Gossaert." De artibus opuscula XL: Essays in Honor of Erwin Panofsky. 1, New York, 1961, p. 469.

    J. Bruyn. "The Jan Gossaert Exhibition in Rotterdam and Bruges." Burlington Magazine 107 (September 1965), p. 464, mentions our portrait among other "workshop productions" repeating the master's inventions, and considers the one in The Hague [Mauritshuis] a much earlier, probably authentic version.

    H. Pauwels, H. R. Hoetink, and S. Herzog. Jean Gossaert dit Mabuse. Exh. cat., Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. [Bruges], [1965], pp. 150–51, no. 22, ill., dates the lost original about 1525–30; notes that although there are numerous known portraits of Anna van Bergen, none of these portraits permits us to say for certain whether the present work is the one mentioned by Van Mander; notes, however, that the very specific features of the Virgin and Child and the resemblance of the latter to its mother suggest that we are dealing here with a portrait.

    Sadja Jacob Herzog. "Jan Gossart, called Mabuse (ca. 1478–1532): A Study of his Chronology with a Catalogue of his Works." PhD diss., Bryn Mawr College, 1968, pp. 156–57, 197 n. 31, pp. 348–49, no. 75 (the composition), fig. 86, observes that "the physiognomic similarities between mother and child in this painting are undeniable, and furthermore, there are no precise physiognomic parallels in Gossaert's other treatments of the Virgin and Child".

    Jan Bialostocki. "The Eye and the Window." Festschrift für Gert von der Osten. [Cologne], 1970, p. 164, comments on the device of the window reflected in the subject's eyes.

    Max J. Friedländer et al. "Jan Gossart and Bernart van Orley." Early Netherlandish Painting. 8, New York, 1972, pp. 35, 95–96, no. 39a, pl. 37.

    Lorne Campbell. Unpublished text for MMA Bulletin. 1981, calls it one of the earliest and best of the surviving copies; observes that it is probably Henry, the youngest son of the Lord and Lady Veere, who is represented as the Christ Child.

    Guy Bauman. "Early Flemish Portraits, 1425–1525." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 43 (Spring 1986), pp. 14–16, ill. (color).

    Lorne Campbell. Renaissance Portraits. New Haven, 1990, pp. 137, 257 n. 53.

    Introduction by Walter A. Liedtke in Flemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America. Antwerp, 1992, p. 24.

    Maryan W. Ainsworth. Gerard David: Purity of Vision in an Age of Transition. New York, 1998, p. 89 n. 53, p. 311 n. 100.

    John Oliver Hand. "New York. From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Burlington Magazine 140 (December 1998), pp. 855–56, notes that not all visitors to the exhibition will find the juxtaposition of the "Portrait of Anna van Bergen" (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.) with the MMA's Virgin and Child a convincing demonstration that Gossart used Anna's features for our Virgin.

    Véronique Sintobin in From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 19, 25, 143, 192–94, no. 40, ill. (color)

    , dates it about 1525.

    Ariane Mensger. Jan Gossaert: Die niederländische Kunst zu Beginn der Neuzeit. Berlin, 2002, pp. 165, 172 n. 86, fig. 94.

    Maryan W. Ainsworth. "Intentional Alterations of Early Netherlandish Paintings." Metropolitan Museum Journal 40 (2005), pp. 59–60, fig. 19.

    Albert Châtelet. Visages d'antan: Le Recueil d'Arras. Lathuile, France, 2007, p. 277.

    Lorne Campbell in Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2008, pp. 132–33, no. 26, ill. (color) [Spanish ed., El retrato del Renacimiento, Madrid, 2008, pp. 266–67, 483, no. 57, ill. (color)], dates it about 1522.

    Lorne Campbell in El retrato del Renacimiento. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2008, pp. 266, 483, no. 57, ill. p. 267 (color) [English ed. , London, 2008, p. 132–33, no. 26, ill. (color)], dates it about 1522.

    Maryan W. Ainsworth in Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, pp. 20–21, 81, 85–86 n. 1, p. 87 n. 32, pp. 238–40, 242, 248, 274, no. 37, ill. (color).

  • Notes

    According to Van Mander [See Ref. 1604], while Gossart was working for the marquis de Veere he painted a portrait of his wife Anna van Bergen and their infant son as the Virgin and Child. Although the original composition is presumed lost, this picture is one among a dozen or so replicas.

    A portrait of Anna van Bergen is in the Recueil d'Arras (Bibliothèque Municipale, Arras); a likeness of her by Gossart is in a private collection—two versions of it exist, one in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., and one in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

    Ref. Friedländer 1972, p. 96, lists seven other versions of the composition. Another version, not listed by Friedlander, was sold at Sotheby's Monaco, June 20–21, 1987, no. 343. Ref. Herzog 1968, p. 349, lists eleven versions of the composition, including the MMA work.

  • See also