EYCK, Jan van
(b. before 1395, Maaseik, d. before 1441, Bruges)
Madonna in the Churchc. 1425
Oil on wood, 32 x 14 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin
The figure of the Madonna, represented in supernatural size standing in the nave of a Gothic church, alludes to the fact that the mother of Christ has often been described as a 'templum' or 'domus dei' since Christ, during his incarnation, lived in her as in a temple.
The asymmetric composition, unusual at Van Eyck, is explained by the fact that this panel was the left wing of a diptych. The other wing is lost but contemporary copies prove the correctness of this assumption.