Friday, January 04, 2013

Who painted this? #10

We start the New Year with a complete conundrum.  Let's see how well honed your artistic and detective skills are with this one! :)

To be completely honest I happened upon this completely accidentally - as you do - and I had never seen it before.

Who Painted This? #10
Right CLICK the image  and open in a new tab to see a larger version
How to participate in "Who painted this? #9"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know
Who Painted This #9 - The Answer

The answer to Who painted this? #9 is somewhat curious.  Those in the know indicate it's not a painting by the great man himself but rather than it was created in a workshop those who worked with him.  Which means he may or may not have contributed to it but nobody quite knows.

Link to the very large full resolution version on Wikipedia
this enables you to see each of the panels much more clearly
  • Title of the artworkThe Nativity
  • Name of the artist who created this artwork: Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden (Netherlandish, Tournai ca. 1399–1464 Brussels) 
  • Date it was created: mid-15th century / Made in, Brussels, Belgium
  • Media used: Tempera and oil / Polyptych Overall (as displayed): 59 3/4 x 108 x 19 1/2 in. (151.8 x 274.3 x 49.5 cm)
  • Where it lives now: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • How you know all this? eg how did you do your search 
Unlike #8, very few people got the answer to Who painted this? #9 - because (1) it was difficult and had some built-in "trip-ups" and (2) I guess you had a few other commitments over this last week. ;)
I'm now getting picky on correctness.

The first two answers from Speedy Sue and Irene were almost correct/complete but not quite.

In fact, the first absolutely correct/complete answer came from Jean-Baptiste Pelardon who also spotted the fact that it was that unusual format - the polyptych - and was NOT painted in its entirety by the early Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden who, along with Jan van Eyck, was one of the most celebrated painters in Europe of his generation!

For a long time this painting was housed in a nunnery in Segovia.  It then did the rounds of the ancestral homes of minor nobility in the UK before arriving at the sale rooms of Thomas Agnew from where it went to live in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Here's what the Metropolitan Museum of Art has to say about it
The central panel of this altarpiece represents the Nativity, flanked on the left by the annunciation of the Tiburtine Sibyl to the emperor Augustus, and on the right by the Annunciation to the Magi with a further scene in the background of the Magi bathing at Mount Victorial. The wings depict the Visitation and the Adoration of the Magi, looking on from above surrounded by angels, is God the Father. The announcement of Christ's coming to Augustus and to the Three Kings were events thought to have occurred at the moment of Christ's birth. This dual annunciation to the rulers of the West and East demonstrates the universal significance of the Incarnation and the Supremacy of Christ over all earthly realms. The center panel generally follows the composition of a triptych now in Berlin devoted to the same subjects and painted about 1445 by Rogier van der Weyden for Pierre Bladelin, treasurer to the Burgundian dukes. Two of the small outer wings were removed and are now in private collection.

Others who got the answer correct are:

  • Sue Smith - who thought it was by Rogier van der Weyden
  • Irene - whose explanation of how she got to it was just little too lightweight for me.  I like them with a bit more meat on the bones.
  • magificolm
  • Colours and Textures