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Massys was the leading painter in early sixteenth-century Antwerp. He learnt much from earlier Netherlandish painters such as Jan van Eyck. The Gothic interior surrounding the Virgin in this painting reflects Van Eyck’s minutely realistic style. Details such as the playful putti (cupids), straining to hold a garland of flowers above Mary’s head, also show Massys’s awareness of contemporary Northern Italian painting.
oil on panel
H 49.1 x W 33.9 cm
Princes Gate bequest, 1978