(b. ca. 1478, Maubeuge, d. 1532, Middelburg)

Virgin and Child

c. 1527
Oil on oak panel, 63 x 50 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

This painting joins a series of late Virgin and Child paintings in which Gossart explored the physical nature of the bond between the two figures. In this series he searched for solutions to the physical relationship of figures, just as he had done with his drawings and paintings of Adam and Eve. Taking inspiration from Italian examples he had observed on his trip to Rome in 1508-09, Gossart exaggerated the poses of figures to suit his increasingly mannered mode of presentation. Among the sources of inspiration a number of the Della Robbia terracottas display a pose of the Virgin and Child similar to that of Gossart's painting.

This painting belonged to King Philip II, who gave it to the Monastery of El Escorial in 1572.