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RELIGION: The life of Christ

Dieric Bouts, The Last Supper

Biblical painting is dominated in the 15th Century by images from the New Testament, with a bias towards secens from the life of Christ. The life itself is divided into three stages: birth and childhood, the baptism and public life and finally, the Passion.

Scenes with the birth and death of Christ, with the crucifixion as the most important subject, were often the most frequently depicted ones. This was not limited to the altarpieces for churches. There were also scenes ordered with a smaller format that would fit in the bourgeoise home. Images of the Holy Family or the rest during the flight to Egypt were among these. These are themes that have an exemplary function and that were not literally drawn from the New Testament.

Nanny Schrijvers