Object Image
The Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist support the body of the dead Christ, which rests on a stone slab. This composition is based on a plaquette by Moderno, the pseudonym of a goldsmith and medallist active in north Italy at the turn of the sixteenth century, datable to around 1508-13. It seems that one of his plaquettes reached the Low Countries and attracted the attention of Jan Sanders van Hemessen, who painted an enlarged version of it, perhaps in around 1530 or 1540 (Museum Henri Boez, Maubeuge).

This variation on van Hemessen's picture by the Master of the Prodigal Son became extremely popular and was reproduced in many painted versions, perhaps over a long period, and in an engr ...
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c. 1550
Oil on oak
108.5 x 69.0cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2023

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