It was common practice for a successful artist such as Van Dyck to employ a number of studio assistants; he himself had worked early in his career in Rubens' studio. This is a replica of a composition dating from shortly after the painter's return to Antwerp from Italy in 1627-28. Autograph versions are in the National Gallery, London and formerly in the Methuen collection, Corsham Court. Like the Madonna and Child (DPG90), it reflects a strong Italian influence, but a comparison between the two betrays this work's status as a studio rather than an autograph piece. The application of colour is less subtle and the figures a little more wooden, lacking the immediate fleshy reality of the dimpled Christ in the Madonna and Child.