Madonna in a Flower Garland
18 00022 000
Madonna in a Flower Garland Oil on canvas 78 x 68 cm The oil painting depicts a nely ornamented ower garland with the portrait of the Virgin in its centre. The numerous and colourful varieties of owersinsoftpinkorangestonalities are contrasted with the devotional portrait in tompe l’œil and grey scale. The garland painting is a genre of still life connected to the visual imagery of the Counter-Reform movement developed in Antwerp by Jan Brueghel the Elder. The rst recorded owner of this type of image was Federico Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan. In a letter of 1608 the artist states: « I am very busy with the little painting of a garland of owers; and in it, according to the instructions of your Eminence, I am going to t a Madonna. The concept of Immaculate is indeed evoked in the depiction of the ower reinforcing the central gure of the Virgin « in magno aliquo splendore sedente » (enthroned in a great splendour) as the Cardinal Borromeo suggested. Furthermore, both the Madonna in a Flower Galand by Rubens and Jan Brughel, at the Prado in Madrid and at the Bayerische Staatsgemälde- sammlungen in Munich attest of this marian iconography. Hieronymus Galle the Elder (Antwerp, 1625-1679) was a Flemish painter specialised in still life. Galle is known to collaborate with his fellow painter Cornelis Schut (Antwerp 1597-1655) for the religious scenes.