Ambrosius Benson, originally known as Ambrogio
Benzone, was a South Netherlandish painter of Italian birth who worked principally in Bruges. This small devotional work is an excellent example of his style, reusing some of the same compositional tools as some of his larger works, such as the Child’s outstretched arms. Although the delicately painted still-life in the foreground is rare in Benson’s work, it echoes the work of his teacher Gerard David. During his lifetime, Benson’s reputation and wealth grew and he owned several houses as well as holding the posts of Dean and Governor of the Painters’ Guild.
Ambrosius Benson The Virgin and Child About 1518-50 © Compton Verney, photo by Jamie Woodley