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This group of paintings formed a triptych – a painting made up of three sections. It was probably commissioned from Memling in Bruges by Sir John Donne of Kidwelly, a Welshman resident in Calais, in the late 1470s. Accompanied by Saint Catherine, he kneels in adoration to the Virgin and Child, while Saint Barbara accompanies Lady Donne and their daughter.
The central panel was flanked by two wings which could be closed to protect the main image. On the left-hand shutter is Saint John the Baptist and on the right, Saint John the Evangelist, Sir John Donne's name-saints. Paintings on the back of the wings meant that the triptych was decorated when closed as well as when open. The figures on the reverses of the shutters, painted to resemble statues, are Saints Christopher and Anthony Abbot.