Virgin and Child (c.1475-1480)

Memling, Hans (c.1430-1494)

Virgin and Child
Oil on wood, diameter 17.5 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

The composition of this small roundel of the Virgin suckling the Christ Child was very popular, disseminated through workshop patterns that date to the early fifteenth century. Memling enriched the prototype by adding an extended wooded landscape. Roundels like this were often hung above the heads of beds, where they served as a blessing over a married couple or as a focus for personal prayer. The frame and painted image are carved from a single piece of wood. (MET)