Image Resources | Currently on View in Northern Renaissance Gallery
This painting was created as a visual aid for devotion to the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary. The Virgin and Child are encircled by an oversized chaplet of fifty-five blossoms (one third of a full rosary). The painting, like a set of rosary beads, was meant to help remember and count the meditations and prayers that comprise the devotion. The fifty small roses, one for each Ave Maria (Hail Mary) in a chaplet, are separated into groups of ten by five large roses, one for each Pater Noster (Our Father). Each rose calls to mind a particular mystery, that is, an event from the life of Christ or the Virgin.