(b. ca. 1440, Seligenstadt, d. 1494, Bruges)


c. 1485
Oil on wood, 22 x 14 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg

The picture shows one of the panels of the Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation which is made up of three panels, all three of which are painted on both sides. This reversible painting would seem to have been intended for use as an aid to private meditation. When the panels are folded slightly inwards, the triptych will stand unsupported - for example, on a table. Its symbolism centres on the opposition between Good and Evil. A woman wearing a diadem in her long hair, with a griffon and two greyhounds at her feet, and a mirror in her hand in which she contemplates her naked image without shame, represents vanity and lust.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.