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Diptych: Christ and the Virgin

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This composition of Christ as the Salvator Mundi (‘Saviour of the World’) adored by his mother, the Virgin Mary, was very popular in the early sixteenth century. These are workshop copies of originals painted by Quinten Massys towards the beginning of his career. His workshop then continued to produce further versions over a long period.

These panels were painted by Massys‘ two main associates, one working on each; some less important areas were delegated to assistants, who perhaps worked on both. Although the panels have always been regarded as a diptych (a painting made of two parts) they were not actually made to go together. The Virgin probably came from the stock in Massys’ workshop and was cut down to be paired with the painting of Christ.

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