GOES, Hugo van der
(b. ca. 1440, Ghent, d. 1482, Bruxelles)

Monforte Altarpiece (detail)

c. 1470
Oil on wood
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

A group of villagers observe this extraordinary scene through a gap in the wall. The figures, both actors and witnesses, are all shown on the same scale, whether humble or magnificent. They are neither reticent nor exalted, but react to the event in their various ways, surprised or self-conscious.

A tiny squirrel is running along one of the beams above the opening through which the villagers observe the scene.