Holbein's Virgin of Mercy
Almost 500 years ago, Hans Holbein the Younger (*1497 Augsburg – 1543 London) created his masterpiece "The Madonna of Mayor Jacob Meyer zum Hasen" (the so-called "Virgin of Mercy") in Basel. The panel, which is often compared to Raphael's Sistine Madonna, gained global renown for its long and complex origination, Holbein's ingenious and daring visual ideas as well as its highly unusual later fate.
Ending in a semicircle at the top, the panel depicts the Mother of God, with the Christ Child in her arms, standing in a huge scalloped niche. Mary's outspread cloak, identifying her as the Virgin of Mercy, shelters the people kneeling at her feet.