Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400 – June 18, 1464)

Portrait of a Lady
c. 1455 

Weyden was a tremendous force in the art world during his lifetime. He was so famous that he was even able to eclipse his contemporary van Eyck, an eclipse that has lasted into modern times. (Personally, I don't quite agree with the common assessment, as van Eyck's style always seemed the sharpest and most spiritual out of all the Northern Renaissance painters.) Weyden often imbued a great mystery into his paintings, as in a Portrait of a Lady, which carries obvious parallels in the softness of the character's impression to da Vinci's Mona Lisa. And Weyden is an excellent illustration of the wonderfulness of the Northern Renaissance, which I think has been rather unfairly seen as secondary relative to the advancements of the Italian masters. 

c. 1435 
Annunciation Triptych
c. 1440

Portrait of a Woman
c. 1464

Miraflores Altarpiece
c. 1440

Lady Wearing a Gauze Headdress

Bladelin Triptych


  1. oh, yes, I absolutely agree with you mentioning the unfair secondary position of Nothern Renaissance. I just think that Italian art is easier to "understand" for a common admirer.

  2. Elenita, thank you for the comment. As you say, there was a great amount of symbolism, especially in the case of painters like Bosch, that permeated the Northern Renaissance.