CRAYER, Gaspard de
(b. 1584, Antwerpen, d. 1669, Gent)

The Lactation of St Bernard of Clairvaux

c. 1668
Oil on canvas, 401 x 243 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

The very emotional and moving character of the numerous and usually large altarpieces which De Crayer produced later in his career, must undoubtedly have been in response to the often sensually coloured Marian devotion of monastic orders. These altarpieces, produced by him and by his assistant, were intended for monasteries and abbeys, particularly Cistercian ones. The "Lactatio Bernardi" was painted for the Cistercian nuns of the abbey of Nazareth near Lier.

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