St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

Artist Rogier van der Weyden

Date ca. 1435-40

Movement Northern Renaissance

Medium Oil and tempera on panel

Dimensions 54 x 43.5”

Housed at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Unlike in Descent from the Cross, Rogier here depicts his subjects before a sprawling landscape and view of an awakening Flemish city. A medieval legend held that the Virgin miraculously appeared to St. Luke so that he could take her portrait—here, he prepares a painting in silverpoint; this painting inspired many depictions of the same subject matter for years to come. As with contemporary works, Rogier pays close attention to detail, especially of patterns.