(b. ca. 1478, Maubeuge, d. 1532, Middelburg)
Virgin and Childc. 1522
Oil on oak panel, 39 x 30 cm
This panel is one of Gossart's most intimate and charming renditions of the Virgin and Child. While the skilful presentation of the tactile qualities of flesh and fabrics had been previously mastered in Netherlandish painting, the utterly human relationship between the Virgin and Child is entirely new. It is the result of the influence of Italian Renaissance examples, such as Benedetto da Maiano's relief, which provides a close parallel not only in terms of the composition and poses of the figures but also in the motif of the Child tugging playfully on the Virgin's scarf.
The Latin text at the upper curved edge (now barely visible), and the signature at the lower edge of the original frame are later additions.