ORLEY, Bernaert van
(b. 1491/92, Bruxelles, d. 1542, Bruxelles)

Triptych of Virtue of Patience (central panel)

Oil on oak, 176 x 184 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Van Orley, court painter to the regent Margaret of Austria, was active during the short interval when the notion of the antique was just coming into being. Significantly, his architectural constructions fall mostly in the period from the late 1510s through the 1520s, a period between the unchallenged authority of an international Late Gothic manner and the introduction of antique forms into built architecture. Highly ornate forms were prized at the time for their delicacy and intricacy. Van Orley's triptych of Virtue of Patience (called also Job Triptych) typifies this visually abundant manner. The pavilion housing the children of Job, in the central panel, is supported by rich piers formed of quadruple joined colonnettes and decorated with medallions, rams' heads, and garlands.