Beginning in July 2015, the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent has provided the diptych Margaret of Austria in worship of the Virgin, attributed to the Master of 1499, on long-term loan to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
The work will be able to be seen for the duration of a year in the Kunstkammer, the ‘chamber of art and wonders', in which the rich collection of the Habsburg emperors is exhibited. Since the Kunstkammer was re-opened in 2013, the Groeninge Museum in Bruges and the City Museums of Mechelen have also provided works on long-term loan.
Margaret of Austria, the aunt of Charles the Fifth, was the governess of the Netherlands from 1507 to 1530, nearly without interruption. Her court in Mechelen expanded into a centre of art and culture. The diptych of the Museum of Fine Arts, attributed to the Master of 1499, a pupil of Hugo van der Goes, depicts Margaret in worship of the mourning Virgin. She is kneeling on a red tapestry with a white cross, the coat of arms for her husband, Emanuel Philibert of Savoy. The diptych belonged to her collection. The Friends of the Museum purchased the work in 1971 at a Paris auction, and then gifted it two years later to the Museum, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the association.
(News item July 15, 2015)