WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)
Virgin and Childc. 1433
Oil on panel, 14 x 10 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Van der Weyden's Virgin and Child is an early work of surprisingly small dimensions, and is a fine demonstration of the technical virtuosity which the artist was capable of expressing. The Gothic niche in which Mary is seated - and particularly the sculptures which decorate it (depicting scenes from the Nativity cycle) - could almost be the work of a miniature painter. The architectural setting is rendered in perspective, albeit a less rigorous one than would have been used by van der Weyden's Italian contemporaries, and creates a three-dimensional space in which the two figures are placed.