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Madonna and Child

ca. 1615-1618 Peter Paul Rubens Born: Siegen, Westphalia, Germany 1577 Died: Antwerp, Belgium 1640 oil on wood 41 5/8 x 29 1/8 in. (105.7 x 73.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of John Gellatly 1929.6.91 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 5B


Luce Center Label

This image of the Virgin Mary and Jesus is a version of one that appears in a Rubens triptych commissioned around 1617 for the Antwerp Cathedral. In this tender scene, Mary gently touches the child’s foot with her right hand and balances him with her left hand, as if helping him to take his first step. The focus is more on Christ’s humanity than his divinity. The painting entered the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) from the collection of John Gellatly, a prominent collector of American and European art. Gellatly felt that American artists were the equal of any “old master,” and his many European works were meant to be an example and an encouragement to this country’s painters.

Keywords

Religion - New Testament - Christ

Religion - New Testament - Mary

painting

About Peter Paul Rubens

Born: Siegen, Westphalia, Germany 1577 Died: Antwerp, Belgium 1640

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Peter Paul Rubens