Dieric Bouts (Netherlandish, active by 1457, died 1475)
Oil on wood
8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (21.6 x 16.5 cm)
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915 (30.95.280)
Bouts has based this image on the ancient Byzantine formula for the affectionate Virgin (glykophilousa)a type popular in the Netherlands. However, he has endowed the painting with a human tenderness and simplicity not found in icons and has dispensed with the gold background and halo of Byzantine practice. The remarkably subtle modeling of the flesh tones enhances the verisimilitude of the representation.