Do they know it’s not Christmas yet?

While I was looking for some reference materials, I came across two German (and sort of Dutch) Nativity scenes by Derick Baegert and Jan Joest van Kalkar. Both scenes were painted late 15th, early 16th century. Here are some of the other Nativities I’ve already posted in earlier posts. They all look very similar. It’s obvious copyright wasn’t an issue in the middle ages.

I wonder why these paintings inspired by other ones are often mirrored. Is it on purpose or is it a result of a copying process?

Nativity by Baegert
Columba altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden for reference
Prado Nativity by Memling, for reference purposes
Nativity by Jan Joest
The Magi by Hugo van der Goes


Wat ik zo boeiend vind aan portretten door de Vlaamse Primitieven of andere schilders rond die tijd is dat je vaak hoofden ziet die je aan iemand uit de huidige tijd doen denken, zeker als je ouderwetse kledij en kapsels wegdenkt. Er is in feite zelfs een portret van Holbein dat bijna identiek is aan een familielid. Maar dat ga ik nu niet tonen.

Als je de Nefertitihoed weghaalt lijkt dit meisje wel een beetje op mijn nichtje.

Detail van Presentatie in de tempel door de meester van het Prado

Als je de kleren van Jan de Leeuw updatet zou je geen twee keer kijken, mocht je hem op straat kruisen.

Jan de Leeuw door Jan van Eyck

Ik kan er niet aan doen maar dit portret door Hugo van der Goes doet me altijd aan Kristof Calvo denken.

Kanunnik van der Paele doet me altijd aan Maurice Lippens denken, ha ha.

Detail van de Madonna met kanunnik van der Paele door Jan van Eyck

Trek Memling’s Maarten een zwart band-T-shirt aan en hij kan zo naar Graspop. Misschien moet hij zich zelfs niet omkleden. Hij lijkt ook enorm op een kennis.

En buiten haar hoofdtooi ziet deze dame er ook niet erg exotisch uit:

Portret van een dame door Rogier van der Weyden

Buiten de pij weinig werk aan:

Karthuizer door Petrus Christus

And it Goes on

Passed the Mot today, hurray. That leaves only taxes as the last annoying thing to take care of before July.

Back to business. I have more or less wrapped up my Rolin research but a couple small things can be added. Above is another, older picture of what is supposed to be cardinal Rolin I came across. Not much likeness, except the pose, the red cloak and the little white dog sitting on it. Given the time difference between both paintings, it can’t be the same dog.

When I was looking through some books regarding something else, I came across a couple van der Goes in a book about tombs in churches in Mechelen. The family seems to have links with the Netherlands. There is not much known about Hugo’s family and he was originally from Gent. Could be wrong but there seems to be some sort of link between the Gent and the Mechelen family. There are also de Goes/Gois in Leuven but they go back to a Portuguese family. Anyway, I haven’t spent much time on this. It falls under the category Trivia.

Jean & the Master of Moulins

The arms of Jean VI Rolin. Ms 116, Autun

I know I said I was done with Hugo van der Goes, but here is one last addition.

The past couple days I have been compiling the results of the research I have done on the Jouster (see earlier post). Most of his biography is fairly clear, except the question whether or not he won the tournament in Valenciennes. First guess would be not, given his background but that’s not what I want to write about today.

I have some additional documentation on him that was on loose photocopies and papers inside an issue of an old 1900s magazine – L’Art Flamand Hollandais – about the French Primitives. The illustrations in the magazine are in black and white and sometimes that way you notice things that you wouldn’t otherwise. This is the case with a picture that is also on the internet page about Jean Hey but in colour.

The picture is a painting of Mary Magdalene by the Master of Moulins, aka Jean Hey (see earlier post).

When I saw this I was immediately reminded of two paintings.

One of them was the part with Etienne Chevalier and St Steven on the Melun dyptich by Jean Fouquet around 1450, because of the stance of the characters:

The second part of that dyptich is the famous Madonna/Agnes Sorel. I’ve always found the Madonna an odd and interesting but not necessarily beautiful painting. The red angels look pretty demonic.

But the first thing that came to mind was the Monforte painting by Hugo van der Goes:

Now if we mirror Mary Magdalene and put her next to the boys in the back:

Jean Hey is said to have been influenced by Hugo or even have been his pupil. Your guess is as good as mine.

But this is only half of it. Some art work done for Jean VI has been attributed to a collaborator or a follower of Jean Bourdichon, one of the top illuminators who was active during the second half 15th century- first quarter of the 16th. The magazine states Bourdichon is close to the Master of Moulins but not in what sense. I haven’t yet looked into the truth of this statement but in any case, the illustration accompanying this claim is a painting of the dauphin, attributed to Jean Bourdichon, which is now attributed to Jean Hay, according to Wikipedia. Another interesting fact is that Jean Bourdichon was a pupil of Jean Fouquet. I’m beginning to see all kind of interesting links forming.

Other work for Jean VI was done by an artist influenced by the master of the chronique scandaleuse (a chronicle about Louis XI). I haven’t looked into possible ties with the artists mentioned before. It’s definitely worth spending more research time on this.

Legally this is Burgundy


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: