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Netherlandish: 'The Virgin and Child'

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The Christ Child rests on the lap of the Virgin; she holds a book and he has just blown a soap bubble. This action probably relates to the saying 'Man is a bubble' ('Homo Bulla'), which was in fairly common usage in the 16th century. It means that human life is transient, unlike the eternal truths of religion.

It has been suggested in the past that this painting is related to the work of Bellegambe (about 1470/80 - about 1535). A more general attribution is favoured at present.

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