A LATE 15TH / EARLY 16TH CENTURY FLEMISH CARVED OAK RELIEF OF ST JOHN AND THE VIRGIN the fragmentary relief depicting St John weeping and the Virgin shown in profile, both with heavy drapery falling in deep folds, on an integral base, 38.5cm high This carving would have originally belonged to a larger multi-figured, relief carved and polychrome decorated altarpiece, probably depicting the Deposition of Christ. From the beginning of the 16th century narrative altarpieces were becoming more sophisticated, and they reached their peak in 1520-40, in Antwerp. An example of a complete altarpiece of this type and of slightly later date to the present lot, the Pagny Chapel altarpiece in painted and gilded oak, Antwerp c.1530-40, is now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Like the present carving, it is carved on a sloping ground to give the effect of foreshortening. Related Literature: Netherlandish Sculpture 1450-1550, Paul Williamson, V&A, London, 2002.