« ZurückWeiter »
German art of the same period (cf. e.g, 1049, p. 266). “The Passion, as conceived by this painter, was a scene for the display of brutality rather than the exhibition of heroism. The enduring Christ is not the subject of the pictures, but the torturing villains that surround Him. The figure of Christ does not dominate the rest; the vile element seems always victorious." 654 THE MAGDALEN.
Ascribed to Roger van der Weyden (Early Flemish :
1400-about 1464). See under 653 below. Known for the Magdalen by the small vase at her feetemblem, in all the religious painters, of the alabaster box of ointment—"the symbol at once of her conversion and her love." In these “ reading Magdalens” she is represented as now reconciled to heaven, and magnificently attired—in reference to her former state of worldly prosperity. “It is difficult for us, in these days, to conceive the passionate admiration and devotion with which the Magdalen was regarded by her votaries in the Middle Ages. The imputed sinfulness of her life only brought her nearer to them. Those who did not dare to lift up their eyes to the more saintly models of purity and holiness,—the martyrs who had suffered in the cause of chastity,—took courage to invoke her intercession” (Mrs. Jameson : Sacred and Legendary Art, p. 205). Hence the numerous Magdalens to be met with in nearly every picture gallery : in art decidedly there has been “more joy over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety-and-nine that need no repentance." 1082. THE VISIT OF THE MADONNA TO ST.
See under 945, p. 263. 653. HUSBAND AND WIFE." Ascribed to Roger van der Weyden (Early Flemish :
1400-about 1464). This painter was born at Tournai, where he was known as Rogelet de la Pasture. He afterwards went to Brussels, where he assumed his
This picture, as well as 654, 711 and 712, is ascribed in the Official Catalogue to Roger van der Weyden the younger (1450-1529). Subsequent researches have, however, shown this to be wrong. Roger the younger
Flemish name, and where in 1436 he was appointed town painter. He was the chief master (as a teacher, that is) of the early Flemish School. It was he who carried Flemish art into Italy (see p. 81), where he was in 1449-1450. Nearer home, the school of the Lower Rhine in its later time was an off-shoot of his school: and farther up the river, Martin Schongauer, at Colmar, was an immediate pupil of his. He set the fashions in several subjects, such as descents from the cross, and hundreds of followers imitated his designs. What gave his art this wide currency was the way in which it united the older religious feeling, from which Van Eyck had cut himself adrift, with the new naturalism and improved technique which Van Eyck had introduced. His French blood, too, gave his art an element of vivid emotion, which was lacking in the staid control of Van Eyck. He is especially praised for his “ representations of human desires and dispositions, whether grief, pain, or joy." He thus painted for the religious needs of the people at large; and though an inferior artist, enjoyed a far wider in. Auence than Van Eyck.
This picture, commonly called “The painter and his wife,” is delightfully typical of the Flemish ideal both in man and woman-“the man shrewd and determined, the woman sweet and motherly," "The virtue of honest strength, which made the men of Flanders the merchant princes of Europe, was the virtue whose traces the artists of Flanders loved to observe. . . . They care little for mystery, little for pity, little for enthusiasm. ... They love a man whose visage tells of the strength of his character, who has weathered the buffetings of many a storm, and bears on his visage the marks of the struggle” (Conway, p. 104).
260. ST. JOHN, ST. SCHOLASTICA, AND ST.
painted about 1465). This and the companion panel (261, p. 264) are part of an altar-piece originally in a church at Liesborn, near Münster in Westphalia. The sweet but feeble faces, with the gold backgrounds, recall the earliest Lower Rhine School, of which the Westphalian School was an offshoot. The saints originally stood beside the cross: hence their melancholy expression, was a great-grandson of Roger the elder, and was not born till about 1505 (see genealogy in Wauters: The Dutch School, p. 60). The four pictures are here therefore ascribed to the elder Roger ; they were probably painted in his school.
St. Scholastica was the first Benedictine nun, the sister of St. Benedict himself.
657. A DUTCH GENTLEMAN AND LADY. Jacob Cornelissen or Cornelisz (Dutch : painted 1506-1526).
Presumably a husband and wife—the donors, we may suppose, of an altar-piece. Their patron saints attend them. St. Peter lays his hand approvingly on the man's shoulder. The woman, as "the weaker vessel," seems to be supported by St. Paul. It should be noticed that in sacred and legendary art these two saints are almost always introduced together—St. Peter, with the keys, representing the church of the converted Jews, St. Paul that of the Gentiles: his common attributes are a book (denoting his Epistles), and a sword, signifying the manner of his martyrdom, and being emblematic also of “the good fight " fought by the faithful Christian with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
717. ST. JOHN ON THE ISLAND OF PATMOS.
Joachim Patinir (Early Flemish : died 1524).
See under 945, p. 263. The evangelist on the island of Patmos writing the Revelations out of an ink-horn held by an eagle (the symbol of the highest inspiration, because he soared upwards to the contemplation of the Divine), which an imp is attempting to steal. In the sky above are the revelations themselves : “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. ... And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads" (Revelation xii. 1, 3).
708. MADONNA AND CHILD.
Unknown' (Early Flemish : 15th century). The Madonna offers Christ an apple --- symbol of the forbidden fruit, and thus of the sin in the world which he came to remove.
1 Formerly ascribed to Margaret van Eyck.
709. MADONNA AND CHILD.
Ascribed to Hans Memling. See under 686, p. 274. “In Flemish pictures the varnish was incorporated with the surface colours, and cannot be removed without destroying at the same time the very fabric of the work. For this reason all attempts to, what is called, restore, or clean pictures of the Flemish School, result only in the destruction of the work, and by this means many fine pictures have, for all practical purposes, perished. . . . (This picture) is a lamentable example" (Conway, p. 119). 720. A “REPOSE” (see XIII, 160, p. 313).
Jan van Schoorel (Dutch : 1495-1562). Schoorel, so called from his birthplace, belongs to the second period of Dutch art, and was one of the most successful of the “Italianisers" (see p. 210); but neither this nor 721 is a good or indeed a certain specimen. He was a poet and musician as well as a painter, and studied under Albert Dürer. 716. ST. CHRISTOPHER.
Joachim Patinir (Early Flemish : died 1524).
See under 945, p. 263. One of the earliest attempts in painting to tell the beautiful legend of Christopher (the Christ bearer), the hermit ferryman who, “having sustained others in their chief earthly trials, afterwards had Christ for companion of his own." The best account of the legend of St. Christopher is to be found in Miss Alexander's Roadside Songs of Tuscany, edited by Mr. Ruskin, illustrated with “ the most beautiful and true designs that have ever yet been made out of all the multitude by which alike the best spiritual and worldly power of Art have commended to Christendom its noblest monastic legend." 1083. CHRIST CROWNED WITH THORNS.
Unknown (Early Flemish : 15th century). 714. MADONNA AND CHILD.
Cornelis Engelbertsz (Dutch : 1468-1533). Engelbertsz was one of the earliest oil painters at Leyden, and is said to have been the master of Lucas of Leyden. 721. PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Jan van Schoorel (Dutch: 1495-1562). See under 720 above.
655. THE READING MAGDALEN.
Bernard von Orley (Flemish : 1490-about 1542). This painter, who studied in Raphael's school, was a designer for tapestry (the staple industry of Brussels in his time) and stained glass, as well as what is now exclusively called an artist, and had all a designer's care for little things. There are some tapestries by him in the great hall at Hampton Court. Notice the prettily designed cup in ivory and gold-symbolical of the box of precious ointment offered by the Magdalen to her Lord. For the subject see 654 above, p. 267. 718. CHRIST ON THE CROSS.
Hendrik Bles (Flemish : about 1480-1550).
See under 719, p. 262. 1086. CHRIST APPEARING AFTER HIS RESUR
Unknown (Early Flemish : 15th century). Notice the empty tomb, visible through the half-opened door in the background—with the Roman soldier asleep beside, and an angel above it. 715 THE CRUCIFIXION.
Joachim Patinir (Early Flemish : died 1524).
See under 945, p. 263. 707. ST. PETER AND ST. DOROTHY. Master of the Cologne Crucifixion (Early German School :
early 16th century). Part of an altar-piece, the rest of which is in the Munich Gallery, by an artist whose name is unknown, and who is therefore called after his principal work. It has been well said of him that “he succeeded in giving an intense expression of transient emotion to the faces ; but by endeavouring to lend a sympathetic action to the whole figure, he has exaggerated the action into distortion” (Woltmann, ii. 224). This is conspicuously the case here. Look, for instance, at the comic contrast between St. Peter's big foot and St. Dorothy's pointed little shoe-between what is almost a leer on his face and the 'mincing' affectation on hers. St. Peter is distinguished of course by the keys; St. Dorothy by the basket of flowers