Virgin and Child, ca. 1510
Workshop of Gerard David (Netherlandish, ca. 1455–1523)
Oil on wood; Overall 6 1/8 x 4 1/2 in. (15.6 x 11.5 cm), painted surface 5 3/4 x 4 1/8 in. (14.6 x 10.5 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.118)
In the last half of the fifteenth and well into the sixteenth century in the Netherlands, individual pictures of the Virgin and Child were much in demand. Often they were hung on the walls of bedchambers or placed on sideboards to provide inspiration for private moments of prayer. The specific pose in the Virgin and Child, in which the Child stands on the Virgin's lap as the two figures share an embrace, may have been developed as a larger-format composition by Rogier van der Weyden. The wide dissemination of this motif suggests that the artist depended on a standard workshop pattern. It is thought that this tender, but awkward, Virgin and Child is the product of a workshop assistant of Gerard David.