Rogier van der Weyden
Rogier van der Weyden, also known as Rogier de le Pasture (1399/1400 –
June 18, 1464) is, with Jan van Eyck, considered one of the greatest exponents of the school of Early Netherlandish painting.
Life and family
Rogier van der Weyden was born in
Tournaias 'Rogier de le Pasture' (Roger of the Pasture) in 1399 or 1400. His parents were Henri de le Pasture and Agnes de Watrélos. The family had settled before in the city of Tournai where Rogiers father worked as a 'maître-coutelier' (knife manufacturer). In 1426 Rogier married to Elisabeth, the daughter of the Brusselsshoemaker Jan Goffaert and his wife Cathelyne van Stockem. Rogier and Elisabeth had four children: Cornelius who became a carthusianmonk was born in 1427, a daughter Margaretha in 1432. Before 21 October 1435 the family settled in Brusselswhere the two younger children were born: Pieter in 1437 and Jan the next year. From the second of March 1436 onwards held the title of 'painter to the town of Brussels' (stadsschilder) a very prestigious post because Brussels was at that time the most important residence of the splendid court of the Dukes of Burgundy. It was at the occasion of his move to the Dutch-speaking town of Brussels that Rogier began using the Dutch version of his name: 'Rogier van der Weyden'.
Training as a painter
Less is certain about Rogier's training as a painter. The archival sources from Tournai (completely destroyed during World War II, but luckily partly transcribed in the 19th and early 20th century) are somewhat confusing and have led to different interpretations by scholars. From a document it is known that the city council of Tournai offered wine in honour of a certain 'Maistre Rogier de le Pasture' on March the 17th 1427. However, on the 5th of March of the following year the records of the painters'
guildshow a certain 'Rogelet de le Pasture' entered the workshop of Robert Campintogether with Jacques Daret. Only five years later, on the first of August 1432, Rogier de le Pasture obtains the title of 'Master' (Maistre) as a painter. Many have doubted whether Campin's apprentice 'Rogelet' was the same as the master 'Rogier' that was offered the wine back in 1426. The fact that in 1426-1427 Rogier was a married man in his late twenties, and well over the normal age of apprenticeship has been used as an argument to consider 'Rogelet' as a younger painter with the same name. In the 1420's however the city of Tournai was in crisis and as a result the guilds were not functioning normally. The late apprenticeship of Rogier/Rogelet may have been a legal formality. Also Jacques Daret was then in his twenties and had been living and working in Campin's household for at least a decade. It is also possible that Rogier obtained an academic title (Master) before he became a painter and that he was awarded the wine of honour on the occasion of his graduation. The sophisticated and 'learned' iconographical and compositional qualities of the paintings attributed to him are sometimes used as an argument in favour of this supposition. The social and intellectual status of Rogier in his later life surpassed largely that of a mere craftsman at that time. In general the close stylistical link between the documented works of Jacques Daret, and the paintings attributed to Robert Campinand Rogier van der Weyden is considered as the main argument to consider Rogier van der Weyden as a pupil of Robert Campin.
After he settled in Brussels Rogier began a prosperous career that would make him the most famous painter in Europe at the time he died in 1464. Different properties and investments are documented and witness his material prosperity. The portraits he painted of the Burgundian Dukes, their relatives and courtiers, point to his good relations with the richest and most powerful sovereigns in Europe.
The Miraflores Altarpiece was probably commissioned by King
Juan II of Castile, since Juan II donated it to the monastery of Miraflores in 1445. In the holy year 1450 Rogier quite possibly made a pilgrimage to Rome which brought him in contact with Italian artists and patrons. The Esteand Medicifamily commissioned paintings from him. The Duchess of Milan, Bianca Maria Visconti, sent her court painter Zanetto Bugattoto Brussels to become an apprentice in Rogier's workshop. Rogier's international reputation had increased progressively. In the 1450's and 1460's scholars like Cusanus, Filareteand Faciusreferred to him in superlatives: 'the greatest', 'the most noble' of painters.
Not a single work that can be attributed with certainty (on the basis of documentary evidence) to Rogier van der Weyden survives.Rogier's most famous paintings were the four vast panels with the '
Justice of Trajan' and the ' Justice of Herkenbald', painted for the 'Gulden Camere' (Golden Chamber) of the Brussels Town Hall. The first and third panels were signed, and the first dated 1439. All four were finished before 1450. They were destroyed in the French bombardment of Brussels in 1695, but are known from many old descriptions, from a free partial copy in tapestry (Bern, Historisches Museum) and from other free and partial copies in drawing and painting. The paintings probably measured ca. 4,5 m. each, which was an enormous scale for a painting on panel at that time. They served as 'examples of justice' for the aldermen of the city who had to speak justice in this room. According to the praising descriptions (by a.o. Albrecht Dürer, Calvete de Estrellaand Isaac Bullart) the paintings had a strong emotional impact on the beholder. As can be seen in still extant paintings attributable to him, Rogier van der Weyden was a master in the depiction of emotions and grief.
This aspect of his style is also apparent in the Deposition (Madrid,
Museo del Prado) that has been attributed to Rogier since the 16th century. It was probably commissioned by the 'Saint Georges Guild of the crossbowmen' for the church of 'Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Ginderbuiten' in Leuven. Although the pedigree of this work is known it can not be related to Rogier on a documentary basis with certainty. Some authors like Max J. Friedländeror more recently Felix Thürlemannconsider it as a work of Robert Campinon the basis of stylistical comparison.
His vigorous, subtle, expressive painting and popular religious conceptions had considerable influence on European painting, not only in
Franceand Germanybut also in Italyand in Spain. Hans Memlingwas his greatest follower, although it is not proven that he was a direct pupil of Rogier. Van der Weyden had also great influence on the German painter and engraver Martin Schongauerwhose prints were distributed all over Europe since the last decades of the 15th century. Indirectly Schongauer's prints helped to disseminate Van der Weyden's style.
List of works
Most important paintings attributed to Rogier:
Most of the works consists of more than one panel; mostly they are
triptychs, diptychs or polyptychs. Some of them are dismembered and the parts are kept in different museums. Some panels are only fragmentery remains of lost masterpieces.This list features the paintings accepted as authentic by Dirk de Vos (see references below). They are listed chronologically following the datations by De Vos. All works are executed in oil on oak panels except if mentioned otherwise.
* "Enthroned Virgin and Child in a Niche", Madrid,
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza; and "Saint George and the Dragon", Washington National Gallery of Art. Both ca. 14 x 10 cm.
Berlin, Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, inv. nr. 538 A., 79 x 49 cm.
* "Diptych with the Virgin and Child Standing in a Niche, and Saint Catherine in a landscape",
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. nr. 951 and 955. Both ca. 19 x 12 cm.
* "Descent from the Cross",
Madrid, Museo del Prado, inv. nr. 2825. 220 x 259 cm.
* "Virgin and Child in a Niche", the so called: "Durán Madonna",
Madrid, Museo del Prado, inv. nr. 2722. 100 x 52 cm.
* "Portrait of a Woman", (sometimes considered as the portrait of van der Weyden's wife Elisabeth Goffaert),
Berlin, Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, inv. nr. 545 D. 47 x 32 cm.
* "Triptych with an Annunciation" Center panel with the
Annunciationin Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv. nr. 1982. 87 x 91 cm., Wings with the Visitationand a 'clergyman kneeled in prayer' in Turin, Galleria Sabauda, inv. nr. 210 and 320. Both 89 x 36,5 cm.
* "Saint Luke drawing the portrait of the Virgin",
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Higginson bequest, 93.153. 138 x 111 cm.
Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste, inv. nr. 1550. 58 x 36 cm.
* "Triptych with the crucifixion", so called: "Abegg Triptych",
Riggisberg, Abegg-Stiftung, inv. nr. 14.2.63. Center panel: 103 x 72 cm. Wings, both: 103 x 33 cm.
* "Triptych of the Seven Sacraments", so called: "Chevrot Altarpiece",
Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, inv. nr. 393-395. center panel: 200 x 97 cm, Both side panels: 119 x 63 cm.
* "Triptych of Our Fair Lady", so called: "Miraflores Altarpiece",
Berlin, Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, inv. nr. 534A. Three panels: 74 x 45 cm each.
* "Triptych with the crucifixion",
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. nr. 901. Center panel: 96 x 69 cm. Wings: 101 x 35 cm.
* "Reading Mary Magdalen, Saint Catherine and Saint Joseph", fragments of a lost
Sacra Conversazione, "Mary Magdalen" in: London, National Gallery, inv. nr. 645. 62 x 54 cm. ; "Heads of Saint Catherine and Saint Joseph" in Lissabon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, inv. nr. 75B and 79 A. Both fragments ca. 21 x 18 cm.
* "Triptych with the Birth of Christ", so called: "Bladelin Triptych",
Berlin, Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, inv. nr. 535. Center panel: 94 X 92 cm, Wings each: 94 x 42 cm.
* "Jean Wauquelin presenting his 'Chroniques de Hainaut' to Philip the Good", dedication miniature from the 'Chroniques de Hainaut',
Brussels, Royal Library of Belgium, ms. 9242, fol.1, paint on parchment, 15,4 x 20 cm (illustration), 42,3 x 28,8 (leaf).
* "Polyptych with the Last Judgement", so called: "Beaune Altarpiece",
Beaune, Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune, originally oil on oak panels, today some panels are transferred to canvas. The polyptych consists of 15 different parts. The large center part measures 210 x 100 cm, the small upper wings measure 72 x 45 cm. Opened the polyptych measures 210 x 548 cm.
* "Saint Margareth and Saint Apollonia", Right wing of a lost triptych,
Berlin, Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, inv. nr. 534C. 51,5 x 27,5 cm.
* "Triptych of Jean Braque",
Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv. nr. RF 2063. Center panel: 34 x 62 cm, wings each 34 x 27 cm.
* "Portrait of a man",
Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, inv. nr. 1930.26. 32 x 23 cm.
* "Triptych with the Adoration of the Magi", so called: "Columba Altarpiece",
Munich, Alte Pinakothek, inv. nr. WAF 1189-1191. Center panel: ca. 140 x 153, Wings each: ca. 140 x 73 cm.
* "Triptych with scenes from the life of John the Baptist", so called: "Saint Johns Altarpiece",
Berlin, Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, inv. nr. 534B. Each panel ca. 77 X 48 cm.
* "The crucified Christ between the mourning Mary and Saint John", so called: "Crucifixion of Scheut",
El Escorial, Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo, inv. nr. 10014602. 325 x 192 cm.
* "Deploration of Christ" or "Pietà",
Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, inv. nr. 3515. 33 x 47 cm.
* "Diptych of Jean Gros", Left wing: "Virgin with Child" in
Musée des Beaux-Arts Tournai, inv. nr. 481. Right wing: "Portrait of Jean Gros" in Chicago, The Art Institute, Ryerson Collection nr. 1933.1052. Both wings ca. 39 x 29 cm.
* "Portrait of Francesco d'Este",
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Friedsam Collection, inv. nr. 32.100.43. ca. 30 x 20 cm.
* "Diptych of Philippe de Croy, Lord of Sempy", left wing: "Virgin and Child" in: San Marino (California),
Huntington Art Collections, The Art Gallery, inv. nr. 26.105.; right wing: "Portrait of Philippe de Croy" in: Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, inv. nr. 254. both wings ca. 49 x 30 cm. (Recent research by Ron Spronk proved that the two panels formed indeed a diptych together. The temporarily rejoined diptych was displayed in the loan exhibition 'Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych' at the National Gallery of Artin Washingtonand the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpenin Antwerpin Fall 2006/Spring 2007.)
* "Portrait of
Charles the Bold", Berlin, Staatliche Museenzu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, inv.nr. 545. 51 x 34 cm.
* "Portrait of
Antoine, bastard of Burgundy", Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, inv.nr. 1449. 38 x 28 cm.
* "Virgin and Child",
Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, Edith A. and Percy S. Strauss Collection, inv. nr. 44-535. 32 x 23 cm.
* "Virgin and Child with four Saints", the so called: "Medici Madonna", painted for the
MediciFamily in Florence, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, inv. nr. 850. 51 x 38 cm.
* "Diptych of
Jean de Froimont", left wing: "Virgin and Child" in: Caen, Musée des Beaux-Arts, inv.nr. M.91. right wing: Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, inv.nr. 4279. both wings ca. 51 x 33 cm. (According to a publication by Dominique Vanwijnsberghe).
* "Portrait of a Lady", sometimes identified as Marie de Valengin, bastard daughter of
Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, Washington, National Gallery of Art, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, inv.nr. 1937.1.44. 37 x 27 cm.
* "Entombment of Christ" of "Deploration before the opened grave", probably commissioned by
Cosimo de Medici, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi, inv.nr. 1114. 110 x 96ccm.
* "Calvary diptych", left wing: "Mary in grief, supported by Saint John", right wing: "Crucifixion", probably the outside of the wings of a lost
carved altarpiece, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The John G. Johnson Collection, inv.nr. 334-335. Works rejected by De Vos:
Copies after Van der Weyden:
A 15th century copy after the Madrid
Descent from the Crossby an anonymous master (the so-called Edelheer-triptych) is preserved in the Sint-Pieterskerk, Leuven, Belgium.
* A major loan exhibition on Rogier van der Weyden and his circle is planned in
Leuven/Louvain Belgium in fall 2009. Curators are Prof. Jan van der Stock of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuvenand Dr. Lorne Campbell of the National Galleryin London. See: [http://www.artesleuven.be/site2006/images/RVDW%20folder%2011-05.pdf Artes Leuven]
List of Flemish painters
Early Netherlandish painting
* [http://Rogiervanderweyden.com RogierVanDerWeyden.com-Tribute site with pictures and music.]
* A complete bibliography on Rogier van der Weyden and his circle since 1984: [http://xv.kikirpa.be/en/homepage.htm Centre for the Study of Fifteenth Century Painting in the Southern Netherlands and the Principality of Liège]
* http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/diptychinfo.shtm The Netherlandish Diptych Unfolded, Exhibition on Netherlandish Diptychs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington including Van der Weyden's diptych of Philippe de Croy.
* [http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/w/weyden/rogier/index.html Web Gallery of Art: Rogier van der Weyden]
* [http://www.rogiervanderweyden.be www.rogiervanderweyden.be. Rogier van der Weyden 1400-1464 - Master of Passions: Major international loan exhibition on Rogier van der Weyden at the Museum of Leuven, Belgium from September 20 to December 6, 2009.]
*Campbell, Lorne, "Van der Weyden", London ISBN 1-904449-24-7"
*de Vos, Dirk. "Rogier van der Weyden: The Complete Works" ISBN 0-8109-6390-6, Harry N Abrams, 2000
*Kemperdick, Stephan "Rogier van der Weyden" "(Masters of Dutch Art)", ISBN 3-8290-2571-8, Könemann, 2000.
*Dhanens, Elisabeth, "Rogier van der Weyden. Revisie van de documenten", Royal Academy of Belgium, Brussels, 1995.
*Davies, Martin, "Rogier van der Weyden: An Essay with a Critical Catalogue of Paintings Assigned to him and to Robert Campin", London: Phaidon, 1972. ISBN 0714815160
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Look at other dictionaries:
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Rogier van der Weyden — Pietà, Huile sur toile (35 × 45 cm) National Gallery, London … Wikipédia en Français
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