MASSYS, Quentin
(b. 1465/66, Leuven, d. 1530, Antwerpen)

The Virgin Enthroned

c. 1525
Oil on wood, 135 x 90 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Massys's religious paintings are not as highly-rated today as they were during the artist's lifetime. The affectation and sentimentality that for many years guaranteed their popularity are now held against them. Some feel that Massys had fallen too much under the spell of da Vinci, as in his Virgin, which is clearly copied from Leonardo's St Anne. The painter's exaggeration of sentiment in the Virgin Enthroned in Berlin is now felt to lie beyond the bounds of good taste.