Norfolk triptych (front)

mixed techniques on panel (33 × 65 cm) — c. 1410 - 1420 Museum Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

This work is linked to Luke 24:6

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A small triptych, with colourful and detailed paintings. Note the refinement in the arches. The triptych is one of the oldest surviving examples of art from the Netherlands.

The central images show Mary and Christ on a throne in heaven. Below them Christ has been taken down from the cross; two angels are now raising him from the grave, showing us the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53), quite the opposite of the man on the throne.

The other figures are saints. On the outside of the shutters are even more saints.

Left wing: Laurence; Mary Magdalene, Dorothy, Agnes (in blue, her robe playfully draped over the virtual frame), Barbara and Catherine; church fathers Jerome and Gregory.

Right wing: Stephen; the monks Benedict, Anthony, Egidius and Leonardus; church fathers Augustine and Ambrose.

Central panel: top left are the apostles James the Lesser (with club) and Peter; below them the bishops Lambertus and Servatius. To the right are Paul and Andrew, and below them two more bisshops.

The unknown artist used leaf gold for the background and expensive pigments for the colours. The person who commissioned the panel must have been very wealthy. It was probably made in the area of Liège and Maastricht.

The altarpiece is known as the Norfolk Triptych after the duke who owned it around 1900. It was acquired by D.G. van Beuningen, who later donated it to the museum Boijmans in Rotterdam.

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