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 LadyPortrait of a Lady

by ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN {Flemish School}

 

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.

Rogier van der Weyden 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
pieces.

 

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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 Flemish school, not
interested in making literal maps of faces but in revealing the psychology of
his sitters.

Thus his Portrait of a Lady, 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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