The composition is similar to some treatments of the subject made by Dürer in drawings and engravings, and the plants have parallels in his drawings. The iris is often a symbol of the sword of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin.

The painting is very probably produced by Dürer's assistants.

Key facts

Artist dates
1471 - 1528
Full title
The Virgin and Child ('The Madonna with the Iris')
Date made
about 1500-10
Medium and support
Oil on lime
149.2 x 117.2 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought through The Art Fund, 1945
Inventory number
Location in Gallery