Prince Sebastien de Bourbon;
E. Pacully, Nice;
His sale, 1903 (possibly unsold);
E. Pacully sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 5 July 1938, lot 17, reproduced no. V;
Pierre Bautier, Brussels;
Private collection, Brussels,
Thence by descent.
Bruges, L'Exposition de Primitifs Flamands, 1902, no. 218 (as by David).
Elseviers Maandschrift, Amsterdam 1903;
E. von Bodenhausen, Gerard David und seine schule, Munich 1905, p. 191, no. 41c, reproduced;
S. Reinach, Répertoire des peintres du moyen âge et de la Renaissaince (1280-1580), vol. IV, Brussels/Paris 1918, p. 256;
M.J. Friedländer. Die Alt-Niederländische Malerei, vol. VI, Berlin 1934, p. 152, no. 203a;
M. J. Friedländer, Early Netherlandish Painting, vol. VIb, Leiden/Brussels 1971, p. 106, no. 203a, reproduced plate 206, (as a replica).
H.J. van Miegroet, Gerard David, Antwerp 1989, p. 300, no. 32a.
Although there are many versions known of this composition, the one formerly in the Wetzlar collection in Amsterdam, is generally accepted as the prime version. The present version however, differs in some aspects from all known copies or studio versions, particularly in the hands of the Virgin. Here, her left hand is supporting Christ's head, whereas in the Wetzlar picture she uses her right hand. The presence of the underdrawing, beautifully preserved and most clearly visible in the Virgin's face, also reveals the painter of this version chose not to paint all her tears.
Miegroet dates the Wetzlar picture around 1510; the soft contours, small measurements and the delicate character of the dramatic pose are typical characteristiscs of David's later style.1
1. See Miegroet, under Literature.
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