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Sacred Icon or Secular Portrait?

A woman and her child - but who, and why? Stephanie-Suzanne Durante reveals the not so straightforward story of this enigmatic painting by Jan Gossaert

Stephanie-Suzanne Durante

What, at first glance, would you guess to be the subject matter of this painting?

As it now hangs in the Courtauld Institute Gallery, it is designated on the label as a ‘Virgin and Child’. But can we be sure?

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