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The National Gallery has endeavoured to make as many images of the collection as possible available for non-commercial use. However, an image of this painting is not available to download. This may be due to third party copyright restrictions.

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Panel from a Triptych

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These two paintings – Saint Luke painting the Virgin and Child and The Virgin standing in a Niche – are, in fact, the back and front of the same panel, which has been sawn through its thickness. They once formed the right wing of a triptych (a painting made in three parts). Although they have been cut on all four sides, not much has been lost and the triptych must have been tall and narrow in format. The centre panel probably showed the Virgin and Child enthroned, much as they appear in the picture Saint Luke is shown painting.

Differences in technique suggest they were by different painters, but both are close to the style of Massys and follow many of his technical procedures. They may well have been produced by two or more assistants in his workshop or by painters who trained there and continued to work together after leaving.

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