St Luke Drawing The Virgin And Child c.1440-1475, by the Workshop of Dieric Bouts the Elder (c.1415-1475)


Following an export bar, this outstanding painting, St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, was acquired in July 2016 with support from Art Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and a number of private donors, totalling £2,290,650.  The painting is of major importance due to its connection with the artist, deemed one of the leading and most influential Netherlandish painters of his time. Dieric Bouts the Elder is in fact considered, together with Hans Memling, the most important follower of Rogier van der Weyden.


Bouts’ works are rare in general and especially in the UK. In addition, there are no other paintings of this date and origin depicting this important subject in British public collections by Bouts or any other northern European artist of this period.

The Bowes Museum is embarking on an innovative partnership with York Art Gallery and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, each with their own excellent Old Master collections, to deliver a diverse and exciting activity programme surrounding the painting. 


CVAC Study Day St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child: Constructing Narratives

CVAC Study Day St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child: Constructing Narratives

19 June, 10.00 - 6.00, Free to CVAC Members, £15.00 Adults, £7.50 Students / Concession Lunch and refreshments provided

This interdisciplinary study day aims to look at the painting Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child  in the broad context of visual culture: exploring sainthood and investigating visual representations of sanctity, looking at perspective, with a particular attention to interior and architecture in early modern Europe, and analysing identity and self-imagery.

The event is designed to be a cross- and inter-disciplinary study day where scholars, postgraduate and early career researchers can meet, debate, and collaborate on all issues pertaining to visual culture.

10.00 Registration with refreshments
10.30 Introduction
10.45 Keynote Lecture: FromSt Luke Drawing the Virgin’ to thePortrait of Christ’: Painting the Devotion in Dirk and Albrecht Bouts' Workshop Dr Valentine Henderiks, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels) 11.30 Questions and break
11.35 Christ as Visual Prolepsis Professor Andy Beresford, University of Durham
12.05 ‘St Luke Drawing the Virgin’ at St James' Church (Hamburg) – New Perspectives from a Theological Point of View Dr Karl-Günther Petters, Independent Scholar 
12.35 The Visual Politics of Vision: a British Reaction to Jules-Claude Zeigler’s ‘St Luke Painting the Virgin’ in the Salon of 1839 Professor Colin Cruise, Aberystwyth University
1.05 Questions and lunch
2.10 The Significance of Christian Typology in Hans Memling’s ‘The Passion of Christ’: Uncovering the Identities of Cain and Lamech Marjan Pantjes, Independent Scholar
2.40 Painting on Holy Ground: Civic Pride and Artistic Identity in the Guild of St Luke in Sixteenth-century Antwerp Dr Olenka Horbatsch, British Museum, London
3.10 Questions and break
3.15 The First Transfers of the Eyckian models Beyond Flanders: The Case of Lluís Dalmau’s ‘Virgin of the Councillors’ Dr Eva March, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
3.45 Vittoria Colonna’s Interpretation of ‘St Luke Drawing the Virgin’ and the Concept of Non Finito Daniel Fliege, PhD Candidate, University of Paris-Sorbonne and Hamburg
4.15 Saints in Fancy Dress: Sanctity as Performance in the Photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron and Lady Clementina Hawarden Dr Katie Faulkner, The Courtauld Institute of Art/ Arcadia University, London
4.45 Questions and final remarks
5.15 Reception
6.00 End

Booking required here>

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Related Video


The Bowes Museum has produced a film with the support of the National Gallery's Conservation team exploring the scientific analysis that were used to examine the painting.