Follower of Hugo van der Goes

The solemn Virgin Mary, crowned as the Queen of Heaven, holds both the Christ Child and a columbine, a flower with dove-shaped petals that alludes to the Holy Spirit in the Christian tradition. The drawing’s unusually large scale and the columnar folds covering the Virgin’s elongated legs emphasize the contained verticality of this quiet scene. As a result, the standing Virgin, depicted frontally, gives the impression of a sculptural work enclosed in a niche. The composition relates to paintings by the Early Netherlandish master Hugo van der Goes and his followers. Moreover, the technique—the work is drawn with the tip of a paintbrush, mixing regularized parallel hatching with short comma-like strokes—is one used by the master and his circle.

Follower of Hugo van der Goes
Netherlandish, ca. 1440–1482
Standing Madonna and Child with a Columbine, ca. 1480–90
Brush and gray and black ink over black chalk
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, INV. NO. C 811
© Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Photo: Herbert Boswank