Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, 1435–40. Oil and tempera on panel, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Van der Weyden worked with live models and was known for the naturalism of his detail and his expressive sensitivity to the human expression. He also used an unusually broad range of colors and tones.
Depictions of Luke drawing the Virgin rose in popularity in the mid-to-late 15th century, with van der Weyden’s panel the earliest known from the Low Countries.
Rogier van der Weyden was one of the most influential European painters of the 15th century and one of the great Early Flemish artists. St. Luke was the patron saint of artists. This panel may have been installed in the Guild of Saint Luke’s chapel in Brussels where many of his contemporaries would have been able to view it.