• GERARD DAVID Virgin and Child with the Milk Soup


One of the most captivating compositions by Gerard David (Oudewater, c 1455 - Bruges, 1523), Virgin and Child with Milk Soup values the human nature of Christ's childhood. The small size of the painting indicates that it was a piece destined for private devotion in a home environment where it could be viewed in close proximity and at length. This work was probably influenced by a lost painting of Leonardo da Vinci’s which was replicated with some variations in David’s workshop, this being one of the versions of higher technical quality.
The painting from MNAA exhibited next to it, Rest on the Flight into Egypt, has similar characteristics; small in format, it demonstrates a significant secular bias in the treatment of the religious scene, not only in the "secularisation" of the figure of the Virgin but also in exploring the seduction of landscape painting.

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