(b. ca. 1400, Meersburg am Bodensee, d. 1451, Köln)

Triptych with the Virgin and Child in an Enclosed garden

Oil on oak panel, 31,3 x 227,5 cm (central), 30,6 x 10,3 cm (each wing)
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

The Virgin Mary sits as the Virgin of Humility on the flowery grass carpet of a hortus conclusus, the enclosed garden of Paradise. This garden is surrounded by a fortified wall, thus turning Mary into a fortress of virginity. The flowers on the lawn, the white and red roses around the Virgin's head and the red rose she is giving to the Child are common symbols of her virginity, her joy and sorrow, as well as the future suffering of Christ. Small dark blue angels crown her as the Queen of Heaven. In keeping with the Cologne tradition, the scene is flanked by standing saints, in this case St John the Evangelist and St Paul. With Lochner's Virgin of the Rose Garden (Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum), this compositional type may be considered the archetype of Memling's paradisiacal Virgins (e.g. in the Prado, Madrid). The coronation of the Virgin by dark blue angels is another motif developed by Memling, as in his Kansas City Virgin or the St John altarpiece (Memlingmuseum, Bruges).

It is difficult to make out whether the work was partly executed by Lochner himself. The wings are usually attributed to another hand. The work could have originated in Lochner's studio in c. 1445-50.