The Adoration of the Christ Child

Follower of Jan Joest of Kalkar German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 537

The fourteenth-century mystic Saint Bridget of Sweden recounted Christ's birth after experiencing a vision. The "great and ineffable light" she described as emanating from the Child is the most compelling feature of this picture. The portrayal of this divine splendor allowed painters to convey the mystical aura of the event and to experiment with dramatic lighting effects. Drawings and numerous paintings of the subject suggest that a lost work by Hugo van der Goes was the source of the composition. A variation on the theme, produced by a different workshop, also belongs to the Museum (Robert Lehman Collection).

The Adoration of the Christ Child, Follower of Jan Joest of Kalkar (Netherlandish, active ca. 1515), Oil on wood

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