The Virgin and Child are shown in a closed garden, the 'hortus conclusus' (closed garden in Latin), which represents chastity. Of the flowers, the iris is frequently shown as a symbol of the Virgin's grief. The subject was popular in Alsace.

The composition is close to that of an engraving signed with Schongauer's initials.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active 1469; died 1491
Full title
The Virgin and Child in a Garden
Date made
1469-91
Medium and support
Oil on lime
Dimensions
30.2 x 21.9 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by Queen Victoria at the Prince Consort's wish, 1863
Inventory number
NG723
Location in Gallery