The elusive so-called Master of Elsloo was studied in a comprehensive and exhaustive catalogue in 2011, edited by Framke Peters. The sheer number of works located in the Central Meuse region carved in a similar style of more or less high quality over a relatively short period of time, with the identification of several different hands clearly emerging from amongst this group, led to Peters and Vincent Cattersel to suggest that there were several different sculptors or workshops active in a popular regional style, possibly in or around Bree and Maaseik in central Limburg. The authors suggested re-naming this umbrella group collectively the ‘Elsloo group’ (Peters, loc. cit., pp. 109-121).
The present group possesses most of the general characteristics of the wider Elsloo group, such as the symmetrical series of rolls of hair on either side of the Virgin’s face, the long locks landing on each shoulder, a very particular facial type of arched eyebrows, a pursed mouth, a projecting under lip and a dimpled, protruding chin. The Virgin’s right leg is thrust forward so that her foot peeps under the hem of her garment. The ovoid shaped face and almond-eyes of the present Virgin, and the ringed curls and horizontal fold to the neck of the infant Christ are more specific details that relate our group to the Neeroeteren Marianum and the Siersdof Virgin and Child that are discussed in the text (ibid, pp. 113-119, figs. 5.15-5.18). The cap on the head of the infant Christ is also present in the polychrome St Anne with the Virgin at Rindern (ibid, figs. 1.10, 11.1 and 11.4), and was used commonly on the heads of both adults and children in the wider Elsloo group.