Virgin and Child

Rogier van der Weyden
Virgin and Child
ca. 1460
20 9/16 x 13 5/8 x 1 1/2 in. (52.2 x 34.6 x 3.8 cm.)
oil on panel

This masterfully painted work is at once a devotional object and a tender image of the interaction between a mother and her baby. The Virgin gently supports the Child, who stands unsteadily as he reaches out to grab a book, probably a Book of Hours that would have included meditations on Christ’s death. The Child seems more interested in playing with the clasps of the leather-bound volume than in inviting the viewer to contemplate His future sacrifice.