New Flemish Primitive for Musea Brugge

The green light has been given in Bruges for the purchase of a rare panel painting by a follower of Jan van Eyck. This acquisition signifies, just as with the purchase of the 'St Veronica' of the Bruges' Master of the Ursula Legend earlier this year, again an important enhancement of the core collection of the Flemish Primitives for the museums of Bruges.
Up until now, the panel was in a private collection in the United Kingdom. The earliest-known owner was Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, who sold the painting in 1816.
The work that is painted upon the panel depicts the enthroned Madonna with Child in an interior room. Presumably the painting initially adorned a small altar that served for private devotionals.

The painting can be directly linked to the workplace of Jan van Eyck. The anonymous painter based his composition upon the elements of a number of various works by Jan van Eyck and his studio, from which one ought to conclude that he at least had access to the workplace drawings of the Bruges Master, and that he probably even worked a while himself in van Eyck's studio. Later this Summer a web publication shall be published on this website that illustrates the connections between the new acquisition and the oeuvre of Jan van Eyck.

The dendrochronological investigation of the wooden framing revealed that the oldest tree ring of the oak panel dates from 1387 and that it could have been painted starting from the second decade of the fifteenth century, during the lifetime of Van Eyck, or shortly after his death in 1441.
The painting will undergo further research in the coming months and it shall make up a portion of the thematic exhibition 'Jan van Eyck in Bruges' in the Groeningemuseum in Spring of 2020.

More information

Image: Anonymous follower / colleague of Jan van Eyck, Madonna with Child, c. 1450, Oil painting on panel, 50,8 x 60,5 cm.Public domain. Show your appreciation. Copy to attribute: 'Musea Brugge | photo Dominique Provost'.

(news, june 18th 2019)