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The Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist

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

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  • A work made of oil on panel.


c. 1520


Workshop of Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen (Master of the Berlin Sketchbook?)
Netherlandish, c. 1470/75–by 1533

About this artwork

Pairing the figures of the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist, this panel was probably once the right half of a diptych. A representation of Christ after the Crucifixion, a type characterized as the “Man of Sorrows,” probably filled the lost left-hand panel and would have been the object of the tearful gazes of Mary and John and also of the meditation of the diptych’s owner. The textured gold background suggests that the figures exist in a visionary space, suited to the meditative function of the ensemble. The painting’s style and its underdrawing suggest that it may be the work of one of Jacob Cornelisz.’s close associates, an artist who has been named for a sketchbook preserved in Berlin.


On View, Gallery 202


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen


The Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist


Netherlands (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


Inscribed: M.DA.NO and .REGINA (on hem of the Virgin’s mantle)


34 × 27.4 cm (13 3/8 × 10 13/16 in.); Image: 33.5 × 26.5 cm (13 3/16 × 10 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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