HEMESSEN, Jan Sanders van
(b. ca. 1500, Hemishem, d. 1556, Haarlem)

Virgin and Child beneath a Vine

Oil on oak panel, 87 x 68 cm
Private collection

This is a rare early work by Jan Sanders van Hemessen. Painted in the late 1520s on his return from a lengthy trip to Italy, the panel already demonstrates signs of the classicising elegance that he learned from his studies of Raphael and the young Bronzino, as well as the sense of form and monumentality that he would have seen and studied in the work of Michelangelo.

Hemessen's interest in and tendency to include a variety of flora and fauna in a highly naturalistic setting is perhaps one of his most distinguishable characteristics and features prominently in all his works of an external setting.