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The Virgin and Child in Glory with Saints
Workshop of the Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece

In the central panel of this triptych (a painting in three parts), the Virgin Mary, surrounded by the golden rays of the sun, embraces Christ, her infant son. He holds an orb topped with a cross, a sign of his universal power, while she is crowned as Queen of Heaven by two angels.

The frame is original and includes inscriptions that help to identify the saints on the two shutters. Saint James the Great appears on the left-hand shutter while Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, is on the right. As the shutters were designed to fold over the central panel, the outer faces were also decorated – they show a scene of the Annunciation to the Virgin.

The painting was probably used for private devotion in the home. The design means the picture could stand up on any surface without support, and could be folded up and carried or put away if necessary.

Key facts
Artist Workshop of the Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece
Artist dates active about 1470 to about 1510
Full title The Virgin and Child in Glory with Saint James the Great and Saint Cecilia
Date made about 1512
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 36 x 59.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1984
Inventory number NG6497
Location in Gallery Not on display
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