The Glorification of the Virgin

The Glorification of the Virgin 1490 - 1495

Geertgen tot Sint Jans

Room 34

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Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Lee Lancaster asked:
What is written on the banners that some of the angels are holding? Thank you! This painting is beautiful and the symbolism striking. God bless you.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen responded:
Dear Lee, The word on the banners is “sans”, short for sanctus. The sanctus is a hymn in Christian liturgy and the Latin word for holy. It refers to the holiness of the Virgin. Kind regards, Esther

About this artwork

The panel depicts an adoration of Mary as a sum of various Bible texts. The vision shows Mary seated on the moon sickle and crushing the dragon under it. She is circled by angels with musical instruments and the instruments of the passion. The visionary character is strengthened by the heavenly light surrounding mother and child. This depiction of Mary refers to the Revelations of St. John 12:1: 'And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.' The panel was originally part of a diptych. The other panel is in Edinburgh and depicts the crucifixion of Christ.

About the creator

Geertgen tot Sint Jans

Leiden 1465? - Haarlem 1495?

Little is known about Geertgen tot Sint Jans (c. 1455/65 - c. 1485/95). The most important source is a short biography published by Karel van Mander in his 'painters' book' dated 1604. He called the painter 'Gheerrit van Haerlem', but it is unclear whether he was born in Haarlem or not. There are only a few works that can with certainty be attributed to him. In total, there are around 15 panels that are said to have been painted by him. Geertgen tot Sint Jans died at a young age.

Object details

material and technique: oil on panel
kind of object: painting
creditline: Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958
inventory number: 2450 (OK)