Early Netherlandish Paintings: Rediscovery, Reception, and Research
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In the fifteenth century, a number of master painters, including Jan van Eyck and Roger Campin, flourished in the Netherlands. However, by the early nineteenth century many of their works had been dispersed by the upheavals of the French Revolution. Any contemporary understanding of these artists and their paintings must take into account that historical data about them remains fragmentary and that art historians from different disciplines have approached them in varying ways. Rather than offering a chronological discussion, this book presents early Netherlandish paintings as individual objects that have confronted scholars with countless interpretive challenges. Part One analyzes the style and provenance of each work, the insights gained from it, and the questions that remain, while Part Two is devoted to the history of collecting and of art historical research and interpretation during the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. Part Three addresses how three fields of modern art-historical research - technical examination, archival research into patronage, and iconology - have produced analyses of these artworks. important period in European art by assembling the current scholarly research in the field and underscoring the common ground among scholars from different disciplines.
fewer figures as well; the sea is smooth and the waves do not yield up their dead. All the dead arise calmly from a peaceful land, undisturbed by conflagrations. Michael’s armor is quite plain and no peacock eyes adorn his wings; the skeleton is no longer winged, and in hell the damned – 78 – Early Netherl Paint pp i-406 22-11-2004 21:24 Pagina 79 1 – objects and questions and the monsters are also reduced in number. Finally, the texts inscribed on the Eyckian painting have disappeared.
Goes was probably born in Ghent, where he joined the painters’ guild in 1467. In the late 1470s he became a lay brother, without abandoning his profession, in a monastery of the Modern Devotion, the Red Cloister (Rode Klooster) in the vicinity of Brussels. He died there in 1482.168 Fifteenth- and sixteenth-century sources make it clear that Hugo van der Goes was regarded as a very important master, no less celebrated than his contemporary Hans Memling. The Portinari Altarpiece and other works
of pins in the second suggests that the Virgin and Child was one of the pair of central panels and the Saint Veronica one of the two outer ones. When the central panels were opened the wood sculptures were revealed. Altarpieces comprising both painting and sculpture were very common, and Melchior Broederlam’s panels with the Presentation and the Flight into Egypt (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon) still form the exterior of a triptych with carved figures. Exterior paintings en grisaille occur on many
and four angels and their horsemen sent out to kill. Behind these angels stands a colossal figure: the angel described as clothed with a cloud, with a rainbow upon his head, a face like the sun and legs as pillars of fire. Setting his right foot on the sea and his left on the earth, he cries with a loud voice, whereupon seven thunders represented by dark clouds with lightning are heard. With his right hand the angel swears an oath, with the other he holds an open book intended for John, a tiny
Paint pp i-406 22-11-2004 21:27 Pagina 179 2 – collecting early netherlandish paintings figure 98 – Jan van Eyck, Portrait of figure 99 – Hans Memling, Portrait of a Man Jan de Leeuw (including frame 33.3 x 27.5 cm), (31 x 23.2 cm), Koninklijk Museum voor Kunsthistorisches Museum, Schone Kunsten, Antwerp Gemäldegalerie, Vienna the Southern Netherlands, the museum possessed Gerard David’s Marriage at Cana [fig. 97], which had belonged to the French royal collection and was attributed