WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)
Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (detail)1445-50
Oil on oak panel
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
The detail of the right panel shows the ordination, the marriage, and the extreme unction.
Each sacrament has a side chapel to itself in this panel, so that the architecture a Gothic church ingeniously lies at the heart of the pictorial structure. The range of sacraments begins with the first to be performed in life, baptism, in the foreground of the left panel, and moves on to the last, seen here in the foreground. While the dying man receives extreme unction, his wife stands beside the bed with a candle to place it in his hand at the moment of death.