ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale Portrait of a Lady by ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN {Flemish School}

Portrait of a Lady by ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN {Flemish School}

Portrait of a Lady

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THE profession of painting, in the healthy industrialism of fifteenth-century
Flanders, was rigorously administered by the guilds, a system insuring the
highest standards of workmanship and the prosperity of accredited practi­
tioners, but tending towards uniformity of style and subject matter.

When a
lady of quality wished to have her portrait painted, she consulted a Iicensed
master, selected from his samples an appealing specimen of posture and cos­
tume, and arranged for sittings. The master made drawings of the lady’s face,
and then, in the privacy of his workshop, executed the portrait after the speci­
men chosen by his patron.

was a product of the guilds, trained in sculpture
and the handling of metals, and a licensed master of painting at the age of
thirty-five. But he was a man of exceptional cultivation, a French-speaking
Fleming who had lived in France and traveled in Italy; and after painting
religious pictures he added portraiture to his attainments, bringing to this
field the insight and refinement of feeling characteristic of his devotional


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Though he accepted the realism of his period and many of the con­
ventions of the guilds, he was not bound by inflexible practices; he was, in
many respects, the most imaginative artist of the early , not
interested in making literal maps of faces but in revealing the psychology of
his sitters.

Thus his , which in other hands might have been
only a stereotyped woman in a wimple, becomes one of the glories of North­
ern art. The sharp, clean edges; the features outlined with a sculptor’s pre­
cision; the headdress and arrangement of the hair; the rings and the lady’s
hands, disproportionately small-everything is brought together in a strik­
ing pattern, intricate but extremely lucid, to convey, not a stock guild like­
ness, but his own conception of the dignity and refinement of a woman of
high birth.

Van del’ Weyden was the most popular portrait painter of his time. His
fame spread through France and Italy and beyond the Rhine; he founded a
large and flourishing school at Brussels where he was officially named town
painter; and on his death, the municipal council voted a pension to his widow.


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