After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor

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After Robert Campin (Flandern, 1375-1444)

Portrait of Heinrich von Werl and Saint John the Baptist

oil on oak panel
panel 15.35 x 8.46 inches (39 x 21.5 cm)
hand made oak frame by Christer Björkman
frame 18.50 x 11.81 inches (47 x 30 cm)
most likely painted in the 1600s

Provenance: 
A Swedish private collection;
Bukowskis Auctions, Important Winter Sale 645, lot 1436788, as After Robert Campin from the 1500s

Here we see a reproduction of the renowned triptych altarpiece "The Werl Triptych" by Robert Campin, dating back to 1438, currently housed in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Unfortunately, the centerpiece of the triptych is missing. It portrays Heinrich von Werl, the donor, who is shown kneeling and praying alongside Saint John the Baptist. Von Werl was a member of the Minorite order, now known as the Franciscan order, based in Osnabrück. He relocated to Cologne in 1430 to pursue his studies at the university, where he earned a master's degree in 1435, after being previously designated as the provincial of the Cologne province. It is likely that von Werl commissioned the original triptych for the Minorite church in Cologne. The painting also reflects the concept of an intermediary saint, a notion influenced by Jan van Eyck, as demonstrated here by Saint John the Baptist holding a lamb, emphasizing the donor's significance in the scene.

These 15th-century Netherlandish works were greatly esteemed by many artists, inspiring numerous reproductions in the 16th and 17th centuries. However, most of these copies have since been lost, making our painting a particularly rare find. Based on an analysis of the panel and the painting technique, our copy is not from the 1500s but is more likely from the 1600s.

One of the most captivating features of this piece is the convex mirror, an element also present in the famous "Arnolfini Portrait" by Jan van Eyck.

 

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After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor
After Robert Campin - Saint John and Donor