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Follower of Joos van Cleve, The Virgin and Child with an Augustinian Canoness

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with an Augustinian Canoness
Artist Follower of Joos van Cleve
Artist dates active about 1511; died 1541/2
Date made after 1530
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 33.6 × 24.6 cm
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG945
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin and Child with an Augustinian Canoness
Follower of Joos van Cleve

A woman dressed in the white habit of an Augustinian canoness kneels in front of the Virgin Mary and Christ. Mary is seated on a low, L-shaped brick wall topped with turf, with Christ perched on her knee. He holds a string of red beads with a gold tassel on one end and a yellow ring – perhaps a teething ring – at the other.

Scattered buildings sit beside two stretches of water in the background; the one on the right is a watermill. People are boating, while others walk and ride along the roads on either side of the water. In the far distance on the right we can see the spire of a church.

We don‘t know who the artist or the patron was. Augustinian canonesses, or ’White Ladies', had many houses in Brabant and Flanders. Nothing is known of this panel’s history before its presence in the London collection of the MP and silk merchant Wynn Ellis (1790–1875).

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