Saint Luke Painting the Virgin

Artist: Dirck Vellert (Netherlandish, Amsterdam (?) ca. 1480/85–ca. 1547)

Date: 1526

Medium: Engraving

Dimensions: Sheet: 6 11/16 x 4 7/8 in. (17 x 12.4 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1986

Accession Number: 1986.1000


Vellert made this engraving of Saint Luke on July 28, 1526, the year he was elected to his second term as dean of the Guild of Saint Luke, the artists' guild, in Antwerp. He may have made the print to distribute to the guild's members in honor of his position. Vellert included many naturalistic details: an open book next to a knitting basket in the center, the odd combination of an apple resting on a book balanced on top of a jar in the lower left corner. While the entire scene occupies an elaborate High Renaissance architectural setting filled with classically derived ornamentation, the figure of the Virgin surrounded by a mass of animated crumpled drapery is rather Gothic in character.