BOUTS, Dieric the Elder
(b. ca. 1415, Haarlem, d. 1475, Leuven)

Virgin and Child

Oil on wood, 21,6 x 16,5 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Born and trained in Haarlem, Dieric Bouts spent most of his life in Leuven working for Flemish aristocrats. The composition of this exquisite painting derives from that of the Cambrai Madonna, a 14th-century Italian copy of a Byzantine icon then thought to be a miraculous image painted by Saint Luke. Because of the heightened realism of Bouts's technique, the figures have a compelling lifelike quality. Several replicas of this painting, one by Bouts himself, attest the popularity of the image.