Netherlandish Painter (possibly Goswijn van der Weyden, active by 1491, died after 1538), ca. 151520
Oil on wood; (a) 9 7/8 x 21 in. (25.1 x 53.3 cm); (bp) each 5 x 4 1/8 in. (12.7 x 10.5 cm)
Anonymous Bequest, 1984 (1987.290.3ap)
Depicted in this miniature altarpiece are the fifteen mysteries associated with the Virgin's life: five joyful, five sorrowful, and five glorious. The scene at the base seems related to a well-known legend of a miracle that saved a man from his captors: the Christ Child, held by the Virgin, unfurls a rosary of white and red roses made from blossoms that issue from the man's mouth each time he recites a Hail Mary. The legend was widely associated with the origin of the cult of the Rosary, a popular form of personal devotion during the age of the Reformation. The picture includes a topographical view of the park and Coudenberg Palace of the dukes of Brabant in Brussels and must have been commissioned for a member of the Habsburg court, possibly the lords of Ravensteyn. Based on the style and distinctive features in parts of the painting, it has been attributed to Goswijn van der Weyden, grandson of the great Rogier van der Weyden.