MASTER of the Virgo inter Virgines
(active 1470-1500 in Delft)
Virgin and Child with Sts Catherine, Cecilia, Barbara, and Ursulac. 1490
Oil on panel, 123 x 102 cm
This painting, depicting the Virgin seated among four female martyrs, was probably painted for a nunnery. The painter very subtly included the saints' attributes as ornaments on chains around their neck. On the left is Catherine with the wheel on which she was tortured. Cecilia, behind her, has her organ, Barbara her tower, and Ursula is adorned with the arrow that pierced her heart.
A number of late 15th-century works were grouped around this picture at the beginning of the 20th century, and the artist was christened the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines after this painting.