Jean Bellegambe (Netherlandish, active in France 150434)
Oil on wood; Shaped top: central panel 40 x 24 in. (101.6 x 61 cm); left wing 37 3/4 x 10 in. (95.9 x 25.4 cm); right wing 37 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (95.3 x 24.1 cm)
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931 (32.100.102)
Saint Bernard, a reformer of the Cistercian order and a fervent proponent of the cult of Mary, gathers with his family around the throne of the Virgin. This triptych was commissioned by Jeanne de Boubais, abbess of the Cistercian convent of Flines; she is shown at the right in the guise of Saint Bernard's sister, Humbeline, and for this reason wears the black Benedictine habit. Represented on the exterior wings is Bernard's vision of the Virgin, who, it is said, miraculously wet the saint's lips with her milk.