(fl Bruges, c. 1500). South Netherlandish painter. His name is derived from the Virgin and Child (Paris, Mus. Jacquemart-André), and this, another Virgin and Child (Scranton, PA, Everhart Mus.) and a Virgin and Child with Four Angels Standing in an Arch (Madrid, Mus. Thyssen-Bornemisza) are the only three paintings attributed to the Master. The background to the Thyssen Virgin shows Bruges, which suggests that the Master was active in that city. The obvious source for this painting is Jan van Eyck's Virgin at the Fountain (Antwerp, Kon. Mus. S. Kst.), which is echoed in Petrus Christus's Standing Virgin and Child (Budapest, Mus. F.A.). There are very close stylistic similarities between the work of Gerard David and the Master, and, intriguingly, the view in the Thyssen Virgin corresponds to that from David's studio in Bruges. A similar, somewhat larger composition of the same subject as the Thyssen panel is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, an even larger copy of which was previously on the New York art market (sold Sotheby Parke Bernet, 14 December 1977, lot 155A). Ebbinge Wubben attributed the Metropolitan painting to the Master of the André Virgin, but Fahy and Van Miegroet accepted it as a late autograph work by Gerard David, dating from c. 1515–20. David's authorship is suggested, among other things, by the delicately applied sfumato, refined modelling and the distinct porcelain-like quality of the flesh, which is not typical of the Master of the André Virgin. Furthermore, the consistency and subtlety in the use of mass and void are comparable to David's equally late Rest on the Flight into Egypt (Washington, DC, N.G.A.).
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.