Virgin and Child

Gerard David Netherlandish
and Simon Bening Netherlandish

Not on view

Gerard David has taken the Virgin and Child from his Rest on the Flight into Egypt (49.7.21) and placed them in a different context. Joseph is absent, and there is no overt reference to the journey of the Holy Family. Thus, in keeping with a contemporary trend toward the secularization of religious scenes, Mary is presented as the very model of a nurturing mother. A stream of milk flows from her breast to the lips of the Child, who turns toward the viewer and gestures with a spoon, linking physical nourishment with the spiritual nourishment he offers. The serene landscape was probably painted by Simon Bening.

Virgin and Child, Gerard David (Netherlandish, Oudewater ca. 1455–1523 Bruges), Oil on wood

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