(b. ca. 1478, Maubeuge, d. 1532, Middelburg)
Virgin and Childc. 1530
Oil on oak panel, 45 x 34 cm
In this tightly cropped composition, in which the head of the Child is too large for his small, muscular body, the two figures are framed in the middle ground by a curious architectural mixture of asymmetrical marble columns before gray stone pilasters in an unidentifiable palace room.
The painting belongs to a group of such Virgin and Child types that appears to date late in Gossart's career from about 1525-30. In addition to the present example in an English private collection, these include the Virgin and Child paintings in Cleveland, Berlin and Bilbao, the latter being the most mannered. Gossart's move toward an even more Mannerist mode, both in the poses of his figures and in the quirky nature of his architectural backdrops, seems to have found popularity among his clients.