Seven Sacraments Altarpiece, 1445-50
by Rogier van der WEYDEN

The Seven Sacraments Altarpiece was commissioned by Jean Chevrot, Bishop of Tournai (1436-1460) and one of the most important advisers of Duke Philip the Good. This powerful man is himself portrayed in the figure of the bishop performing the sacrament of confirmation to the left of the picture, and here looks very similar to his portrait in a miniature of 1448. Judging by the male fashions it shows, the Seven Sacraments Altarpiece may have been painted at about the same time.

Rogier's task was to show both the seven sacraments and also the Crucifixion, the fundamental act of redemption. He solved the problem by moving the separate actions into a basilica with three naves. The side aisles provide room for the sacraments, shown simultaneously; only the most important sacrament, the Eucharist, is taking place in the central section at the rood screen altar, which means that it is directly related to the sacrificial death of Christ.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 9 minutes):
Josquin Desprez: In principio erat verbum, motet


Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Seven Sacraments Altarpiece
1445-50
Oil on oak panel, 200 x 97 cm (central panel), 119 x 63 cm (side panel, each)
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

1177*980
True Color
183 Kb



Seven Sacraments Altarpiece
1445-50
Oil on oak panel, 200 x 97 cm (central panel), 119 x 63 cm (side panel, each)
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

1136*980
True Color
182 Kb



Seven Sacraments (left wing)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel, 119 x 63 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

521*981
True Color
146 Kb



Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (detail)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

1112*966
True Color
189 Kb



Seven Sacraments (central panel)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel, 200 x 97 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

464*947
True Color
140 Kb



Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (detail)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

542*1794
True Color
167 Kb



Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (detail)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

659*944
True Color
144 Kb



Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (detail)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

704*1056
True Color
104 Kb



Seven Sacraments (right wing)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel, 119 x 63 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

530*981
True Color
154 Kb



Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (detail)
1445-50
Oil on oak panel
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

940*1113
True Color
184 Kb




Summary of works by Rogier van der Weyden
Altarpieces
Deposition | St Luke Madonna | Annunciation | Miraflores
7 Sacraments | Crucifixion | Bladelin (Middelburg) | Beaune
Braque | St Columba | St John | Various altarpieces
Portraits
Portrait diptychs | Individual portraits
Single panels
Pietŕs | Various | Fragments, copies of last works
Graphics