Madonna and Child

  • Peter Paul Rubens, Madonna and Child, ca. 1615-1618, oil on wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.6.91

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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.

Madonna and Child
ca. 1615-1618
41 5/8 x 29 1/8 in. (105.7 x 73.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of John Gellatly

Mediums Description
oil on wood
  • Religion – New Testament – Mary
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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