National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Virgin as Intercessor Sir Anthony van Dyck (artist)
Flemish, 1599 - 1641
The Virgin as Intercessor, 1628/1629
oil on canvas
overall: 118.8 x 102.3 cm (46 3/4 x 40 1/4 in.)
Widener Collection
On View
From the Tour: Sir Anthony van Dyck
Object 11 of 15

The Virgin as Intercessor demonstrates Van Dyck's powerful ability to devise new religious interpretations. With upturned eyes and open arms, Mary welcomes rays of heavenly light. Ten infant angels fly around her praying figure; some hold the instruments of Christ's Passion, including the crown of thorns and the cross. The intimate character and domestic scale of this altar picture suggest that it was intended for a private chapel. The wreath of roses held near the Virgin's head may refer to Saint Rosalie, whose holy relics were sent to Antwerp as protection against the plague. Van Dyck belonged to the Jesuit confraternity that brought Rosalie's relics from Sicily in 1629.

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