Virgin Suckling the Child

Netherlandish (Antwerp) Painter Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 640

Although originally produced in great quantity, paintings in tempera on linen from this period are now rare. Eight surviving examples show this tender Virgin, her eyes modestly downcast, looking at the Christ Child, who eagerly grasps her breast to nurse. The prayers in the surrounding inscriptions are connected with the Immaculate Conception. This doctrine maintains that Mary was conceived without sin. Since indulgences were granted for the recitation of such prayers, these small paintings on linen were probably mass-produced for devotional purposes.

Virgin Suckling the Child, Netherlandish (Antwerp) Painter (ca. 1520), Tempera and gold on linen

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