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Follower of Hugo van der Goes, Virgin and Child

Key facts
Full title Virgin and Child
Artist Follower of Hugo van der Goes
Artist dates active 1467; died 1482
Date made about 1485
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 32.3 × 21.4 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number NG3066
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Virgin and Child
Follower of Hugo van der Goes

This triptych (a picture in three parts) is made up of three different paintings: the middle panel with its original engaged frame has been inserted into an outer frame, and the two side panels added to it.

The central panel shows the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child, and its quality suggests that it is by a follower of van der Goes rather than the master himself. This artist was not as good a draughtsman as van der Goes but seems to have been aware of his own deficiencies. Technical analysis shows that he made various changes during the course of painting and seems to have struggled to get the Virgin’s face right: he moved her left eye down, and it is now slightly too low.

Technical aspects of the inner frame suggest the panel was made in Brussels; perhaps the artist was an assistant of van der Goes who moved to Brussels after his master’s death in 1482.

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