MS M.659

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Virgin and Child with Female Saints

Leaf from a devotional book
Illuminated by Gérard David

Belgium, Bruges
ca. 1500
183 x 133 mm

Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1926

MS M.659
Item description: 

This Virgo inter Virgines (The Virgin Among Virgins) was painted by the Flemish painter Gérard David about the same time he did the well-known panel of the same subject that he donated to the Carmelite Convent of Sion in 1509; both share details of style and costume. In the panel, most of the virgins have attributes, while those in the miniature do not, except for the one holding a basket of flowers, which may be Saint Dorothy. Some of the letters on the neckline of the Virgin's dress can be read as "O Maria." Three other leaves in a Breviary in the British Library have been attributed to David.

This miniature once belonged to the poet Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821–1895). After Morgn acquired the leaf, following an earlier practice, Marguerite Duprez-Lahey bound it in full blind-tooled morocco.