Madonna with Child

Among the most valuable paintings of the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Gdańsk is a Gothic depiction of the Madonna with Child dating from 1466, executed on oak board.

It depicts on a golden background the figure of the Madonna with Christ in her arms, who holds in her left hand a sash with an inscription in Gothic italics: „Sum quod eram, eram quod sum, nunc dico utrumque. Anno LXVI”, which we translate as: „I am what I was, I was what I am, now I say, I am both. Year LXVI”.

A distinctive element of the painting’s composition is the four coats of arms placed at the bottom of the painting, among them the Principality of the Netherlands (a red lion in profile on a gold background), Amsterdam (a black stripe with three silver St. Andrew’s crosses on a red background), Zeeland (a half-lion sunk in water on a gold background) and Gdańsk (a golden crown and two golden crosses on a red background).

The painting is believed to be the oldest example of a panel painting in Gdańsk.



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