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The woods and hills behind are criss-crossed with paths. In the distance is a city on a river – presumably Nazareth, although the actual town is not close to one – and on the right is a crumbling hilltop fortress, intended to be Juda. Elizabeth has clearly hurried out to meet Mary. She goes down on one knee before her, a mark of respect for the mother of God.
This panel was possibly once part of a huge altarpiece painted in the Netherlands, perhaps for export to Spain or Portugal, with a large central image surrounded by smaller scenes of the life of Christ.
The Visitation of the Virgin to Saint Elizabeth
Oil on oak
H 80 x W 69.5 cm
Bequeathed by Mrs Joseph H. Green, 1880