MASTER of the Legend of Saint Ursula (I)
(active 1480-1500 in Bruges)
Virgin and Child with an Angel1480-1500
Oil on oak panel, 36 x 27 cm
Clothed in a red mantle over a dark blue garment, the Virgin Mary sits on a bench which is draped with a green sheet. Behind her hangs a cloth of honour in green-gold brocade. The Child sits on her lap spreading his arms in a priestly welcoming gesture. Behind the bench is an angel approaching with a pear in his hand which he wants to offer to the Child. The symbolism of an apple or pear in the context of Salvation and of Christ as the new Adam is quite evident. The motif is certainly inspired by Memling. Through the window on the left there is a view onto a landscape with imaginary towers and on the right stands a chest on which there are utensils, a book and a red fruit (a cherry?). A rosary hangs on the wall. The reddish hair, the flesh colour with a whitish glow and the dark pupils are typical characteristics which were noticed early on in this master's oeuvre and which are quite noticeable here. The work originally had a tondo shape.