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Rogier van der Weyden, Holy Virgin

Weyden, Rogier van der (de le Pasture, Tournai about 1398/1400 – Brussels 1464). The Holy Virgin. In heavy gown with the crown of the Queen of Heaven and the drinking child on her arms in an altar niche. In the framing on one side Eve seduced by Satan in the shape of a snake with the head of a woman, on the other side the expulsion from paradise with Adam and the archangel. Above the Lord himself together with the Holy Ghost in the shape of the dove. Steel engraving by William French (c. 1815 – East Grinstead 1898). 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: Belvedere. / Rogier van der Weyden pt. / W. French sc., otherwise in German + English as above. 7⅜ × 4¼ in (18.7 × 10.8 cm).

After the only slightly larger panel from about 1430-32 in the Royal Gallery in Vienna joint as diptych with the Saint Catherine in a Landscape as its assumed original back, separated later (de Vos 3).

“ In the hollow margin edge left and right there are stone portraits mounted. It is Adam and Eve, the evangelic forerunners of Christ and Mary. For the first time in painting they stand in their separate positions for a respective different episode of the Fall of Man, however … the separate placing of the two figures (may) have been influenced by the Gent Altar. Also the throne with its pillars and lions represents a biblical motif, that is the throne of Salomon (the lion also for the ‘Lion of Judah’ as Christ is named in the Song of Songs and the Apocalypse) … To my knowledge it is unique that Mary stands in front of the throne and not has taken seat on it … The Mary with Child is typologically distinctly related to the likewise standing Mary feeding the Child by the master of Flémalle in Frankfort … The smooth drapery of the cloths lacks the later clear contour. This hints at an early date of creation what is corroborated by conformity with other early works ”

(Dirk De Vos, Rogier van der Weyden, 1999, pp. 179 ff.).

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