Such paintings on wood panels in many European Churches are well worth careful examination and study. The back side of them if visible often have unsuspected secrets.
Following its transformative conservation, The Passion Altarpiece by the Master of the View of St Gudule has rightly become a favourite piece in The Bowes Museum’s collection, and a popular topic in this blog. Chocolate eggs now dispatched, I thought I would reflect on its role in the celebration of the Easter festival, both historically as a religious object and today in the more secular setting of the picture galleries.
The Passion Altarpiece
Today in the museum, its carved and painted figures look over at another fantastic work of international importance, The Crucifixion Triptych by the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines. In their original homes in Medieval churches these huge, multi-faceted scenes were the grand centre pieces of the theatre of feast days. Worshippers would be ensconced in a glittering haze of golden clothing, precious metal objects and polyphonic music.
In the more secular space of the…
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