Virgin and Child with Two Donors



Virgin and Child with Two Donors


Joseph van der Veken, attributed (1872-1964)

Country of origin



c. 1902-04


Oil on panel


Open: 20-1/4 x 29-5/8 x 1-1/2 in.; open: 51.5 x 75.3 x 3.8 cm


Uncovering a Forgery: Scientific and Art Historical Investigations of the Palmer Museum of Art Triptych

The museum received Virgin and Child with Two Donors in 1999 from a donor whose mother purchased it in Berlin, Germany, in the 1930s. It was believed to have been painted by the early Netherlandish artist Hans Memling, or by a member of his studio, in the late 1400s. Curators raised questions about its authenticity. Both art historical research and scientific tests concluded that this object was actually made in the early 1900s.

Several additional paintings with similar-to-nearly identical features and figures are now known to exist. Comparing these objects helped experts determine that this triptych –and many others like it –were likely created by the same hand. After an important 1902 exhibition in Bruges, Belgium, made early Netherlandish painting very popular, someone began to produce forgeries attributed to Memling and other artists of the period. Today, we know that individual was a well-known Belgian conservator named Jef van der Veken.




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