Skip to main content

Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart), The Virgin and Child

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child
Artist Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart)
Artist dates active 1508; died 1532
Date made 1527
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 30.7 × 24.3 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1860
Inventory number NG1888
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child
Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart)

In this small arched painting, the Virgin Mary is seated on a grey stone bench surrounded by a wooden frame. She wears a red mantle and uses both hands to gently restrain the naked Christ Child as he leaps forward with his arms outstretched.

Once thought to be by a follower or even a late copy after Jean Gossart, in the 1990s we realised that this small painting is the original of a famous image by the artist, of which several versions survive. Up till then it was covered in discoloured and degraded varnish, and was heavily overpainted. When the painting was cleaned its exceptional quality became apparent.

The delicacy of handling in such details as Christ’s head and the fingernails of his right hand shows extraordinary skill. The letters of the inscription and their shadows are a triumph of the imaginative reconstruction of the fall of light and shadow over convex metal and wood.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo