“Altar of St. Colomb. Wolves worship, ”Rogir van der Weiden – description
- Posted by Rogir van der Weiden
- Museum: Pinacotka, Munich
- Year: 1460
Description of the picture :
Altar of St. Colombus. Wolves worship – Rogir van der Weiden. Central panel 138 x 153 cm, Side sashes 138 x 70 cm
The master writes the magnificent triptych “The Adoration of the Magi” (sometimes called the Altar of St. A colomba named the church in which he stayed for a long time) dedicated to the birth of Christ. The artist placed the biblical stories in a real setting, mixing the divine and earthly. Despite the fact that in accordance with church traditions, the picture is filled with many symbols, it seems very lively and inspired.
You need to read the altar from left to right, following the plan of the painter.
Left-handed sash – Annunciation, the most severe and sublime part of the triptych. The simple atmosphere of the room underlines the importance of what is happening. The archangel Gabriel conveys the message of young Mary kneeling with a prayer book in her hands. A little bewildered, she carefully listens to his words.
The bright blue color of the girl’s clothes, the snow-white shades of the Messenger’s robe, the scarlet overflows of the velvet curtains obscure the soft, unearthly glow of Maria’s tender face. In the stream of golden rays, a white dove, a sign of divine news, soars in a jug of lily, a symbol of innocence and purity.
The central part is Christmas, the most festive part of the altar. Having tilted her head a little, the Virgin admires her son lying on her lap. To her left, Joseph froze in reverence. The first to welcome the birth of Jesus are the three Magi who came after the Bethlehem star sparkling over the roof of the ram. The eldest of them, reverence, kneels, gently touching the baby. The rest are waiting in line to present rich gifts. And after them there is a long line of people who came to see a miracle.
The expression of faces is different for everyone – from surprise and curiosity to wise contemplation and thoughtfulness. Ordinary living and absolutely natural people, and only the golden rays shining around the head, secrete Mary and Jesus. It is believed that Karl the Bold is depicted on the right in the image of a wolf.
Animals are also present here – there is a cow and a donkey next to the manger, a small levretka lies on the ground. In the background, a large bright city with elaborated houses and streets spread out. And what a variety of fabrics and styles, rich jewelry, written carefully and with love. A rich palette of bright colors fills with joy and a sense of happiness.
Right-handed sash – Bringing to the temple, the most solemn and sublime. Elder Simeon gently accepts the little Christ, recognition and faith glow in his eyes. The artist perfectly conveys the emotions of people: the calm pride of Our Lady, the expectation of Joseph, the sadness and compassion of Anna the prophetess. On the girl’s hands in a small basket are two turtledoves – an atoning sacrifice.
The action takes place in a large church filled with daylight. Windows decorated with stained-glass windows, high walls with rows of columns not only add room to the picture, but also indicate the significance of the moment. Warm shades of stone, light, clean colors of robes create a feeling of tenderness and peace.
The picture can be considered for a long time, finding more and more new details. This lyrical, very soulful altar, conveying joy from the events, rightfully takes place among the masterpieces of the Northern Renaissance.