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Rogier Van Der Weyden Essay

776 words - 3 pages

Rogier Van der Weyden was a Flemish painter of the mid-15th century. Rogier was chiefly influenced by his first teacher, Robert Campin. Although details of his early training are sketchy, it is generally accepted that he entered the workshop of Robert Campin, the foremost painter in Tournai and dean of the painters' guild, in 1427 at the age of 27 (http://www.belgium.be). Rogier remained in Campin's studio for five years, becoming an independent master of the guild on August 1, 1432. Van der Weyden was not permitted to sell his artwork while studying in Campin’s shop. From Campin, Rogier learned the ponderous, detailed realism that characterizes his earliest paintings, and so alike are the styles of these two masters that critics still do not agree on who painted certain works (http://www.abcgallery.com/W/weyden/weydenbio.html). Despite the fact that no surviving works are signed, many can be identified through documentary evidence, and through these the corpus of his work can be tentatively reconstructed (Encyclopedia of Art and Artists, 691). His early works, before 1430, present scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, as in the Annunciation these paintings closely resemble those of his master Campin but exhibit greater emotional and dramatic intensity than Campin achieved. Rogier's mature works, between 1430 and 1450, show an increasing interest in the theme of Christ's passion. They are characterized by cold colors, by rhythmic elongated lines by the elegant mannered poses of the figures, and especially by a tragic religious intensity that reached a peak in three versions of The Crucifixion (http://www.euro-art-gallery.net/history/weyden.htm). Campin was not the only source of inspiration in Rogier's art. Jan van Eyck, the great painter from Bruges, also profoundly affected the developing artist, introducing elegance and subtle visual refinements into the bolder, Campinesque components of such early paintings by Rogier as St. Luke Painting the Virgin. It was in Bruges, where Rogier may have resided between 1432 and 1435, that he became thoroughly acquainted with van Eyck's style (http://humanitiesweb.org). The spiritual essence of a scene was displayed with similar technical virtuosity by Van der Weyden. His international renown was exceeded only by that of Hugo van der Goes, who united van Eyck’s naturalism with penetrating studies of humanity(Eyewitness Books, Renaissance, 20.) Rogier may well have also been influenced by the writings of Thomas a Kempis, the most popular theologian of the era, whose "practical...

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