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Virgin and Child in the Clouds

Virgin and Child in the Clouds

Matthias Grünewald (in circa 1509-1511)

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  • Marcel van Eeden asked

    Is de Grunewladtekening 'Virgin and Child in the Clouds' op afspraak te bezichtigen?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dag Marcel,

    Prenten en tekeningen zijn inderdaad op afspraak te bezichtigen in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. U kunt minsten een week van te voren een mail sturen naar waarin u aangeeft wat u wilt zien. Via deze link vindt u hierover meer informatie



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More information

Along with Dürer and Cranach, Matthias Grünewald ranks among the foremost German artists of the sixteenth century. He spent many years as architect, engineer and artist to the Prince-Archbishops of Mainz. Grünewald is best known for the Isenheimer Altarpiece, a polyptych he painted for a monastery near Colmar in Alsace. This retable depicts scenes from the Bible. The style is dramatic and sculptural, with figures in expressive poses and strong contrasts between light and shade. All that remains of Grünewald’s oeuvre are a few paintings and twenty-nine charcoal drawings, one of which is this Virgin and Child. The Virgin is shown with her regalia: a royal crown and sceptre. She is portrayed as the Queen of Heaven. She stands on a cloud, with the moon, representing the firmament, beneath her feet. The infant Christ holds a large imperial globe surmounted by a cross, symbolizing the world. The drawing was a study for one of Grünewald´s three painted altarpieces for Mainz Cathedral, all of which were lost in about 1630. His drawing technique is unusual. He used charcoal, and suggested shadow by smudging it with a stump. Yellow body colour serves to heighten the luminous moon and evoke the glow of moonlight on the Virgin’s robe. [text: Albert Elen]

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title Virgin and Child in the Clouds
Material and technique Charcoal, smudged, the contours enhanced with charcoal, yellow gouache, fixed
Object type
Drawing > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Height 322 mm
Width 268 mm
Artists Tekenaar: Matthias Grünewald
Accession number MB 1958/T 29 (PK)
Credits Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958 (voormalige collectie / former collection Koenigs)
Department Drawings & Prints
Acquisition date 1958
Age artist Between 29 and 39 years old
Collector Collector / Franz Koenigs, Collector / D.G. van Beuningen
Exhibitions Van Pisanello tot Cézanne (1992)
Grote verzamelaars (2008)
De Collectie Twee - wissel I, Prenten & Tekeningen (2009)
Rondom Fra Bartolommeo (2016)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
Fix > Fixed > Adding and binding materials > General technique > Technique > Material and technique
Fix > Fixed > Adding and binding materials > General technique > Technique > Material and technique
Blending > Blended > Drawing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Blending > Blended > Drawing technique > Technique > Material and technique
Geographical origin Germany > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Matthias Grünewald

Würzburg 1455 - Halle an der Saale 1528

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