(b. ca. 1460, Oudewater, d. 1523, Bruges)
Mary and Child (detail)1490
Oil on wood
Staatliche Museen, Berlin
The cornfield with reapers in the background is an allusion to the miracle of the cornfield well-known in the Middle Ages. It was told that during the flight to Egypt the Holy Family passed by a husbandman sowing seed. He was instructed by the Virgin to say to inquirers that he had seen them go by at the time of sowing. The corn miraculously grew and ripened overnight. Herod's soldiers arriving next day gave up pursuit on being told quite truthfully that their quarry had gone by at the time of sowing.