Exquisite Painting Acquired by Museum Boijmans
The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam has acquired an exceptional and extremely rare early 15th century triptych, according to a newly issued press release. The work, which had be unknown before being exhibited at the museum’s 2012 The Road to Van Eyck, is one of only 20-30 paintings datable to 1410-20 from the Netherlands to survive. The iconography of the central panel, the embalming of the body of Christ, is equally rare. According to the release:
Triptych with the Embalming of Christ
The central panel of the triptych shows the embalming of the dead body of Christ, a rarely depicted scene. According to an international group of experts, the work was painted by an unknown master around 1410 in Bruges. Only 20-30 paintings made in this period in the Netherlands have survived. Through comparison with drawings and manuscripts from the period before Van Eyck, and the manner in which the embalming is depicted, the experts have no doubts about the origin of the painting. The depiction in the left-hand panel of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of the sick, suggests that the triptych may have been commissioned by a hospital. The painting is in good condition; only the figure of Christ has suffered some damage, possibly from being touched by the faithful.
Though the acquisition price was not disclosed, the museum did say that the Rembrandt Association contributed €600,000, which spurred, “substantial additional funding from the Mondriaan Fund, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (Breeman Talle Fonds), the VSBfonds, the SNS REAAL Fonds, the BankGiro Lottery and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation.”