Miniature Altarpiece: Virgin in the Sun

Object Name
Object Type
boxwood, plastic pins
Credit Line
Private collection, London, United Kingdom
Object Number
Not currently on display


Overall Open: 109.1mm × 50.2mm × 21.5mm × 77.5mm (10.9 × 5 × 2.2 × 7.7 cm)


Corpus: Virgin in the Sun: a standing Virgin surrounding by sun rays and standing on a crescent moon holds the Christ Child while two angels crown her and two other angels kneel at her feet; Left wing: St James of Compostella stands beside a kneeling man; Right wing: St Dominic stands holding a cross and a book with a dog holding a torch at his feet; Exterior: Annunciation (angel on left wing, Virgin on right wing); Lower triptych: Resurrection with the Three Maries in the left background; Left lower wing: Nativity with the Annunciation to the Shepherds in the right background; Right lower wing: Mary, Jesus, Joseph, Holy Spirit; Exterior lower left wing: two unidentified men with gifts; Exterior lower right wing: two unidentified male saints

Signature, Inscriptions, and Markings

Under the Annunciation, shutters closed:

[left] Ave maria gratia plena dominus tecum [Source: Luke 1:28; translation: Hail, Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee.]

[right] Ecce ancilla Domini fiat mihi [secundum verbum tuum] [Source: Luke 1:38; translation: I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.]

On the inside of the upper shutters:

[left] Jacob maior [translation: James the Great]

[right] S. Dominicus [translation: Saint Dominic]

Between the upper and lower scenes:

[et signum magnum parvit in caelo] mulier amicta sole et luna sub pedibus eius [corona stellaum duodecim] [source: Apocalypse 12 :1; translation: [And a great sign appeared in heaven] : a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet [and on her head a crown of twelve stars].]

[On the inside of the lower shutters]

[left] Et tu Bethlehem (source: Matthew 2 :6; translation: And thou Bethlehem]

[right] HS Maria Jose [translation: Jesus, Mary, Joseph]

[source: Barbara Boehm, The Met]

Published References

Blumka: Collecting Treasures of the Past VI no.7; July 2011 edition of the Burlington Magazine p 449 fig 13

Catalogue Raisonné

Romanelli 71


Belgian Private Collection since 1960; purchased March 2010 from Blumka Gallery NY; Private collection
Previous Owner(s)
Private Collection
Blumka Gallery


The online catalogue raisonné and digital photography made possible through the generous support of Thomson Works of Art