Skip to main content
Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Saints Catherine and Barbara
Artist Quinten Massys
Artist dates 1465/6 - 1530
Date made probably about 1515-25
Medium and support Glue on linen
Dimensions 93.5 × 110.3 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Charles Bridger Orme Clarke, 1922
Inventory number NG3664
Location Room 14
Art route(s) C
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with Saints Catherine and Barbara
Quinten Massys

The Virgin Mary is seated on a marble and porphyry throne within a church; an opening on the left leads to a landscape. The infant Christ squats on her lap, and two saints kneel on either side: Catherine of Alexandria on the left and Barbara on the right.

The naked child, wrapped in a white cloth, places a ring on Saint Catherine’s finger. Traditionally known as the mystic marriage of Saint Catherine, this was a way of visualising her spiritual union with Christ. Behind Saint Barbara is her symbol: the tower in which she was imprisoned.

This is one of the rare surviving examples of a Renaissance painting done on cloth rather than wooden panel; although many such paintings were made, they were extremely fragile.

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