The Virgin and Child at the Foot of a Tree
7.5 cm x 5.3 cm (2 15/16 in. x 2 1/16 in.)
(Paderborn, Germany, 1502 - circa 1561, Soest (Westphalia), Germany)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, University Purchase, 1961
Throughout the 1500s, small devotional images remained relatively constant in their portrayal of the Virgin. Many major artists engraved small images of the Virgin and Child for personal, private devotion. These prints were avidly collected and they were used in a variety of ways that evolved as the Virgin’s reception transformed. Devout Christians carried around these small, pocket-sized prints with them. Some early Netherlandish paintings contain a detail of a print of the Virgin tacked to the wall of a room with sealing wax. A pious nun even sewed a print of the Virgin and Child into the bodice of her dress so that she could always have it near her.