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Mater Dolorosa (Sorrowing Virgin)

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Workshop of Dieric Bouts
Netherlandish, c. 1410–1475

About this artwork

During the period of transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the great Netherlandish painters worked with traditional forms to create more human and emotional images for personal religious devotion. Paired images of the mourning Virgin and Christ crowned with thorns, made in the workshop of Dieric Bouts, were an especially successful formulation, judging from the many extant versions. Set against a gold background signifying a timeless, heavenly realm, the Virgin was both an embodiment of compassion and an intercessor for humankind with Christ. No autograph example of this pair by Bouts survives; this exceptionally fine painting of the Virgin was probably made by his son, Dieric Bouts the Younger, who carried on the activity of the workshop after his father’s death.

On View

Painting and Sculpture of Europe, Gallery 202


Dieric Bouts


Mater Dolorosa (Sorrowing Virgin)






Oil on panel


38.7 × 30.3 cm (15 1/4 × 11 7/8 in.); painted surface: 37.2 × 29 cm (14 7/8 × 11 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Chester D. Tripp Fund; Chester D. Tripp Endowment; through prior acquisition of Max and Leola Epstein

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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