Virgin and Child with Angels

Bernard van Orley Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 636

Van Orley probably painted this refined and intimate picture of the Virgin and Child about the time of his appointment in 1518 as official painter to Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands. A courtly Madonna of Humility, the Virgin wears a luxurious fur-trimmed dress and is seated on the ground in the enclosed but spacious garden of her palace. She is accompanied by two singing angels, who are echoed by grisaille angels in heaven. The distant background testifies to the painter’s awareness of the development of landscape painting, and the elaborately ornamented fountain incorporates Italian Renaissance decorative motifs.

Virgin and Child with Angels, Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish, Brussels ca. 1492–1541/42 Brussels), Oil on wood

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