Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin

Image credit: The Bowes Museum

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

Legend has it that the apostle and evangelist St Luke painted the Virgin, possibly from a vision. The subject of St Luke, patron saint of painters (as well as physicians), seen depicting the Virgin was popular with 15th century Netherlandish artists and would often have been commissioned in mediaeval times by the painters' Guilds of St Luke and their academies and paintings of which are found in chapels dedicated to the saint. In this painting Luke, which also may be a self portrait of the artist, if not a member of the confraternity that commissioned the picture, is shown standing,  with one knee bent, on a tiled floor, here making a preliminary drawing, in silverpoint, of the Virgin, who appears next to him in corporeal form with the Christ Child who is not being breast-fed but being offered a piece of fruit.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle


Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin


oil on canvas transferred from panel


H 109 x W 86.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

on loan to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue