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Jan van Coninxloo and Associates, The Virgin and Child Enthroned

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child Enthroned
Artist Jan van Coninxloo and Associates
Artist dates active 1514; died probably after 1560
Date made about 1530
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 28.9 × 21.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir Charles Archer Cook, 1916
Inventory number NG3045
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child Enthroned
Jan van Coninxloo and Associates

In this small painting, the Virgin and Christ Child sit on an enormous and elaborately decorated throne in front of a distant landscape. Christ’s outstretched arms recall the Crucifixion, as do the cross and whip he holds.

This was perhaps the work of at least two artists. Technical analysis reveals a lot of underdrawing (the preliminary outlining of a composition) and many changes. The throne and canopy, which were originally smaller, were perhaps initially the work of a specialist painter. Jan van Coninxloo seems to have altered it considerably, adding figures of the Virgin and Child inspired by Jean Gossart’s The Virgin and Child (also in the National Gallery’s collection).

The painting has an integral frame – both frame and panel are carved from a single piece of oak. In one place the Virgin’s dress is painted to overlap onto the frame’s surface.

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