Virgin and Child with Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist
Oil on panel
Acquired by the Clark, 1998
"Among the paintings hanging in the Clark, my favorite is the Virgin and Child with Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist by the Netherlandish artist Quentin Massys. Painted about 1520 to 1525, it is among his finest pictures preserved in America. Particularly appealing for me is the idyllic encounter of the two infants under the loving protection of their mothers, alluding to John's future acknowledgment of Christ as the Messiah. Beyond, a vast but minutely detailed landscape stretches into the far distance, perhaps suggesting the universality of Christ's blessing. Massys thus imbues the everyday world with sacred meaning."
Walter S. Gibson