UNKNOWN MASTER, Flemish
(active 1420-30 in Southern Netherlands)
Christ on the Cross with Mary as Intercessor and a Donor1420-30
Oak panel, 70,3 x 71,6 cm
Museum of Sint Salvator Kathedral, Brugge
In the early part of the fifteenth century, a school of painting arose in Tournai independently of the Van Eycks, whose spectacular new style seems to have flourished in a family context. The new school achieved a highly developed anatomical and physiognomic representation of the human figure. Robert Campin was the central figure in Tournai, heading a studio there between around 1415 and 1432. Despite its innovations, a number of often archaic procedures continued to be applied in this environment, including golden grounds, starry skies and an exaggerated perspective (steep floors). These elements are clearly visible in an important anonymous work, Christ on the Cross with Mary as Intercessor and a Donor. It was evidently produced in the Tournai sphere of influence in around 1420-30 or perhaps even earlier.