Christ and the Virgin

Cut down at the top

Robert Campin, also called the Master of Flémalle, Netherlandish (active Tournai), first documented 1406, died 1444

Made in Netherlands (historical name, 15th-16th century), Europe

c. 1430-1435

Oil and gold on panel

11 1/4 x 17 15/16 inches (28.6 x 45.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 219, European Art 1100-1500, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 332

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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The gold background of this painting sets the scene in the timeless, eternal space of heaven. The close relationship between the two figures suggests that the Virgin is interceding with her son Christ on behalf of humankind.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Robert Campin based this image on a now-lost Byzantine or Italian painting, which had been given by Pope Clement VI to Jean le Bon, future king of France, and kept in the royal Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Campin retained the model’s gold background, but rendered the figures with the realism for which Netherlandish painters were renowned, as evident in the depiction of Christ’s left hand, which appears to rest on the edge of the frame’s molding. This picture of the blessing adult Christ and the Virgin in prayer gave rise to the spread of this iconography in Netherlandish art. Carl Brandon Strehlke, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 93.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.