(b. ca. 1478, Maubeuge, d. 1532, Middelburg)
Virgin and Child1527
Oil on oak panel, 31 x 24 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
In this painting, the Christ Child propels himself from the lap of the Virgin, who barely restrains him with her right hand at his breast and her left hand on his thigh. An inscription explains the Child's action, based on the Genesis, where, after the Fall, God addresses the serpent: "The seed of the woman has bruised the head of the serpent."
There are three surviving versions of this compositions two of which are signed. The question of attribution of the extant versions is problematic. The version in Vienna is probably original, while the versions in London and Munich are copies after Jan Gossart.