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St. Luke and St. Mark with a Portrait of the Virgin and Child

Accession Number
2007/2.144

Title
St. Luke and St. Mark with a Portrait of the Virgin and Child

Artist(s)
Ludolphe Buesinck

Object Creation Date
17th century

Medium & Support
chiaroscuro woodcut on laid paper

Dimensions
10 9/16 in. x 13 1/2 in. ( 26.8 cm x 34.3 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of J. Frederick Hoffman

Label copy
Ludolph Büsinck
Germany, 1599/1602–1669
St. Mark and St. Luke with a Portrait of the Virgin and Child
1623–29
Chiaroscuro woodcut printed with line block and two tone blocks on laid paper
Gift of J. Frederick Hoffman, 2007/2.144
A painting as gospel—that is what the evangelists St. Mark and St. Luke offer in this print as they meet the gaze of the viewer and direct attention toward a painting of the Virgin and Child displayed between them. According to a famous apocryphal legend, St. Luke was an artist, whose most important work was a portrait of Mary and her newborn made from life. Images of Luke creating the portrait had been popular since the late Middle Ages, and a number of paintings of the Virgin and Child were actually claimed to be the legendary work itself. In the print Luke has just set his palette and brushes on the ledge before him and presents his finished masterwork alongside two books representing the Gospels.
(6/28/10)

Subject matter
This chiaroscuro woodcut represents St. Mark and St. Luke, each presenting the works in which they relate their eyewitness experiences of Christ. Both saints wrote gospel accounts, portrayed in the print by the closed book that sits before St. Mark on the left and the open book next to St. Luke. According to a famous apocryphal legend, St. Luke was an artist as well as an author, whose most important painting was a portrait of Mary and her newborn. In the print, Luke has just set aside his palette and brushes on the ledge before him and gestures toward his finished masterpiece.

Physical Description
Two seated men, depicted in three-quarter length, with flowing beards and long robes look out from this print. A painting of a seated woman holding a child on her lap sits on an easel between them. A closed book is placed before the man on the left, and a second book sits open next to the figure on the right. This man holds a mahlstick, used by painters to steady their hand as they work, in his right hand. A palette and brushes are placed on a ledge in front of him.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
chiaroscuro woodcut

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
books
chiaroscuro woodcuts
easels
painters (artists)
palettes (painting equipment)
saints

2 Related Resources

Christian New Testament
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Lives of Christian Saints
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved