This painting, overlooked for most of the 20th century, is today admired as one of Quentin Massys’ most original works. In it, the Virgin appears surrounded by symbolic elements: the crown of stars, the half-moon beneath her feet, and the powerful radiance surrounding her identify her as the Woman of the Apocalypse. Her clothing and the red roses allude to the blood that will be shed by Christ, while the white roses refer to the purity of the Virgin Mary and her dedication as the Virgin of the Rosary. Christ is holding another rosary made of coral, a material used for centuries as a protective amulet. Despite the painting’s uniqueness, it is likely to have been a smaller version of an earlier work, probably by the same artist, since a grid that may have been used to transfer the image can be seen in the underlying drawing.


  • Title: The Virgin of the Rosary
  • Creator: Quentin Massys
  • Location Created: Antwerp
  • Physical Dimensions: 49 x 28,4 cm.
  • Provenance: Lazaro Galdiano Museum
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Museo Lázaro Galdiano
  • Medium: Oil on panel

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps