This painting is one of the undisputed gems of the art gallery.
Virgin and Child with Angels by Joos van Cleve, c. 15201525
© Walker Art Gallery
- Oil on panel
- 85 x 65.5 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £20,000 ( Total: £225,000; Tax remission)
- Acquired in:
- Trustees Colonel Sir Joseph Weld
It depicts three angels serenading the Christ Child, who holds an apple, fruit of salvation. On the left, another angel offers the Virgin a bowl of cherries, symbol of the delights awaiting the blessed. On the table is a carafe of wine and bunch of grapes - both Eucharistic symbols - together with some cherries, a knife and half a lemon. The inscription on the canopy derives from the Song of Solomon (4:7; 6:3) and is a reference to Christ's love for the Church. The picture originally had an arched top and probably formed part of a small triptych. Other artistic influences are evident in the landscape background, reminiscent of the contemporary artist Joachim Patinier, also active in Antwerp. The ecstatic expression and wavy hair of the angel at the left and in the delicate shading employed throughout the picture recalls the paintings of Leonardo.
Formed part of the collection at Ince Hall near Liverpool of Henry Blundell. Inherited from the Blundell family by Colonel Sir Joseph Weld in 1959.
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