St Luke Drawing The Virgin And Child c.1440-1475, by the Workshop of Dieric Bouts the Elder (c.1415-1475)


Following an export bar, this outstanding painting, St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, was acquired in July 2016 with support from Art Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and a number of private donors, totalling £2,290,650.  The painting is of major importance due to its connection with the artist, deemed one of the leading and most influential Netherlandish painters of his time. Dieric Bouts the Elder is in fact considered, together with Hans Memling, the most important follower of Rogier van der Weyden.


Bouts’ works are rare in general and especially in the UK. In addition, there are no other paintings of this date and origin depicting this important subject in British public collections by Bouts or any other northern European artist of this period.

The Bowes Museum is embarking on an innovative partnership with York Art Gallery and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, each with their own excellent Old Master collections, to deliver a diverse and exciting activity programme surrounding the painting. 


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Painting workshop - Doll’s House Diptych

8 December, 10.00 – 4.30, £35 Adult, £33 FOBM, inc. morning refreshments

Painting workshop - Doll’s House Diptych

Join artist Linda Birch to make a miniature painting with doors on the theme of a dolls house, richly coloured in watercolours or acrylic.

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Wet Felting Workshop

27 January, 10.00 - 4.00, £30.00 Adult, £28.00 FOBM

Wet Felting Workshop Be inspired by the New Light Exhibition to create a wet felted and embroidered picture using a variety of wools from British Sheep breeds including Herdwick, Cheviot, Jacob, Teeswater and Swaledale. Includes lunch, morning refreshments, and access to the exhibition. Suitable for all abilities, all materials provided. 

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Turner’s Travel

9 Mar Time 10.00 – 4.30 Cost £35 Adults £33 Friends (inc morning refreshments)

Turner’s Travel

Turner’s early career was spent travelling the country, painting landscape views to be engraved and sold as illustrations to topographical books. Join artist Linda Birch to explore the effects of painting as Turner did, on pale grey blue paper, using pen as well as brushes. View one of Turner’s sketchbooks, currently on loan as part of the current Streatlam Castle exhibition.

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All Ready For Summer

25 March, 12.45 for 1.00 – 4.45, £45.00 Adults £43.00 FOBM

All Ready For Summer Join milliner Margaret Woodliff Wright to create a beautiful, seasonal headpiece at this fun, easy workshop. Using traditional celebration fabrics of chiffon, taffeta and net, learn how to cut and layer the fabrics onto a couture covered band or a barrette clip. Finish by wearing your creation whilst enjoying a delicious cream tea in amongst the Museum’s collections. Materials provided, with a choice of fabric colours. 

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Skin Deep - Painting the Face in pastel, acrylics or oils

4 May Time 10.00 – 4.30 Cost £35 Adults £33 Friends (inc morning refreshments)

Skin Deep - Painting the Face in pastel, acrylics or oils

The human face is eternally interesting. Join artist Linda Birch to create a human visage, taking inspiration from the current exhibition Skin Deep by Jonathan Yeo, who explores conceptual themes in his Surgery Series, depicting in the classical medium of oil paint, the intricacies and complex issues surrounding the current cult for cosmetic surgery and the quest for physical ‘perfection’. 

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Related Video


The Bowes Museum has produced a film with the support of the National Gallery's Conservation team exploring the scientific analysis that were used to examine the painting.