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Follower of Quinten Massys, The Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels in a Garden

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels in a Garden
Artist Follower of Quinten Massys
Artist dates 1465/6 - 1530
Date made about 1510-20
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 67.8 × 45.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Mrs Joseph H. Green, 1880
Inventory number NG1085
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels in a Garden
Follower of Quinten Massys

The panels in this triptych (painting in three parts) show a garden with fruit trees, cypresses and other, unidentifiable trees planted in careful rows. Daisies, buttercups, violets and lilies of the valley carpet the foreground.

In the centre panel, we see an elaborate building filled with dazzling light suggestive of paradise. The Virgin Mary sits on a round table, reading, with the naked Christ Child on a cushion at her feet. He holds a small bird in one hand. They are accompanied by four female saints, including Saint Catherine with her wheel and sword, and possibly Saints Barbara and Dorothy.

Saint John the Baptist appears on the left wing with his emblem of a lamb. In the background walk Saint Agnes, with her lamb, and Saint Agatha, carrying the pincers with which she was tortured for her Christian faith. On the right is Saint John the Evangelist holding his emblem, a chalice, which he is blessing with his other hand.

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