Upon the preparations for the exhibition, Van Eyck to Dürer, two panels from an anonymous Master from the area of the Middle Rhine came to the Groeninge Museum in Bruges in the early part of 2010.
The side panels, which were made circa 1450, belong to the collection of the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (Germany), that closed its doors for a large-scale renovation. Consequently, the paintings could come to Bruges for the opening of Van Eyck to Dürer and then still stay for a long time.
The two panels belong to a large altarpiece that measures about 1,6 by 5 meters. They were an added value to the presentation of the permanent collection in Bruges, with a fixed place in hall 2, next to Jan van Eyck and Petrus Christus: artists that have unquestionably influenced the Master of the Passion of Darmstadt. The artist from the region of the Middle Rhine knew how to enhance the dramatic in Christ carrying the Cross and the Crucifixion by a clever chiaroscuro and a striking usage of colour.
Soon, the Hessisches Landesmuseum will open its doors to the public and the panels can be received again as the highlights of the permanent collection. The Groeninge Museum says goodbye to these long-term loans. The works are still to be admired in the Groeninge Museum until 24 November.
(News item 17 October 2013)