Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child

Jan van Steffeswert1500



This small group, dated A(nn)o 1500 on the plinth, shows a scene with the Virgin feeding a bowl of gruel to her son Jesus, who is kicking impatiently on the lap of his grandmother, St Anne. The child’s eagerness makes the gruel spill over the edge of the bowl. At the back of the statue, you can see how the Virgin is balancing on one foot to keep the bowl straight. The choice of a simple bowl of gruel rather than an attribute with a deep symbolic meaning is quite unusual in sculpture of this period. It would seem that the maker’s main aim was to portray everyday life rather than a scene with a deeply religious meaning. It is as if Jan van Steffeswert has derived the domestic scene from a corner of his own intimate surroundings. The polychromy on the statue is from the nineteenth century. It is not known for which church the statue was originally created.

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  • Title: Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child
  • Creator: Jan van Steffeswert
  • Date: 1500
  • Location created: Maastricht
  • Physical Dimensions: h. 44,2 cm
  • Provenance: Acquired. © Etiënne C.L. van Sloun/Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht
  • Medium: Nutwood, polychromy removed