Mother of God with Baby on a throne in the temple (triptych), Jan van Eik, 1437
- Posted by Jan van Eik
- Museum: Dresden Gallery
- Year: 1437
Description of the picture :
Mother of God with the Baby on the throne in the temple. Triptych – Jan van Eik. 1437. Oak board, butter. The central part is 27.5×21.5, the side is 27.5×8
This small work is a true masterpiece of Dutch art of the 15th century. In the central part of the triptych – Virgin Mary with the Baby in the luxurious interior of the Gothic Cathedral, seated on a magnificent carved throne between two rows of colorful columns of jasper and marble.
The left sash depicts the archangel Michael (the “leader of the heavenly army”), dressed in a chain mail and armed with a shield, a spear and a sword. He represents the Virgin and the Baby of the donor, the customer of the triptych. The name of the man is unknown, it is assumed that he is from the Genoese clan of Giustiniani. On the right sidebar – St. Catherine of Alexandria with traditional attributes, “tools” of her martyrdom: a sword in her hand and a torture wheel at her feet.
Of great importance is the text given on the triptych. These are Bible quotes and other Latin maxims. The baby holds a message with text, the so-called parcel: “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.”. On the original frames of all parts of the picture are inscriptions made, on the bottom bar of the central panel in Latin it is written: “Johannes de Aik fulfilled and completed in the summer of the Lord 1437. How I managed. “. These words were available for reading only in 1958, almost 520 years after the creation of the triptych! Until that time, it was believed that the work belongs to an earlier period of the master’s work.
A small amount of work allowed the owner to transport it. The artist’s technique is striking in filigreeism: the smallest details are written out, which can only be viewed through a magnifying glass. At the same time, the increase does not reveal a single unsure smear, nor the slightest mistake in the figure.