WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)
St Ivoc. 1450
OIl on oak panel, 45 x 35 cm
National Gallery, London
This picture, with its portrait-like close-up view of a man reading, is unique in early Netherlandish painting. However, it is not really a portrait. A 16th-century inscription, now removed, described the man as St Ivo. As a lawyer, he was particularly active on behalf of the poor, but since the figure does not have the saint's specific attributes, this identification is not certain. The painting is very much in Rogier van der Weyden's style, but shows weaknesses in the drawing of the hands and the foreshortening of the face, and is therefore probably from his workshop.