WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)

St Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Madonna (detail)

Oil on canvas transferred from wood
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The small town in the background is animated by little figures (including a man urinating outside the town walls) but it is possible to count them all - what is a whole universe in Jan van Eyck's Rolin Madonna here becomes a comparatively flat background for the figures, one that can be completely surveyed.