WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)
Braque Family Triptych (closed)c. 1450
Oil on oak panel, 41 x 68 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The dark exterior was a reminder of the inevitability of death. The left frame bears a saying in French uttered by the skull: "See, you who are so proud and avaricious, my body was once beautiful but now is food for worms.." This skull is intended as a "likeness" of the dead Jean Braque, whose coat-of-arms is shown above it, reminding viewers of their mortality. The inscription on the cross on the right is from the apocryphal Book of Ecclesiasticus (Chapter 41, 1-2) and laments the bitterness of death.