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Netherlandish School (Tournai). Known as "Le Maitre de Flemalle." Very little is known about him except that he was the master of Jacques Daret and Roger van der Weyden. The only works which are ascribed to him with certainty, besides those noticed below, are an Annunciation in the Merode Collection at Brussels, a Madonna and Child at Frankfurt, and a Nativity at Dijon.
LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY.
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH TWO ANGELS The Virgin stands holding the Child in her arms. On either side is an angel playing on a musical instrument.
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD IN AN APARTMENT The Virgin is seated, facing us, suckling the Child, who lies on her lap. An open book lies on a cushion on a bench at her right. Behind her head is a plaited screen. Through an open window on the left we have a view of a town.
Two PANELS OF AN ORATORY (a) In a narrow compartment apparently divided from a larger room by plain panelling, and quite bare of furniture, an elderly man in the habit of a monk kneels in prayer towards the right wall, his head turned slightly towards us. Behind him, on the left, against a large window through which we see a landscape, stands St. John the Evangelist in a loose robe, his legs bare. He holds in his right hand his emblem, the lamb, resting on a crook. In the centre of the panelling at the back is a circular mirror, and on the wall beyond and above the panelling is a small stone figure of the Virgin on a bracket. A Latin inscription at the foot states that this is a portrait of Henry Werlis of Colon.
(b) A woman, said to be St. Barbara, but probably the wife of W erlis, is seated, three-quarters to our left, reading a book, on a long wooden bench with a plain rail-back and arms which is placed with its back to the stone fireplace on our right. Beyond the bench is an open window showing a landscape, and against the wall between the window and the fireplace is a plain washing-stand with a metal basin and ewer on it.
Both pictures mark the extreme simplicity of the domestic appointments.
THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS A small triptych. Nicodemus on the top of a ladder supports Christ from above, and Joseph of Arimathea from below, beside whom is the Magdalene. To the right the Virgin, stretching out her arms towards Christ, is supported by St. John, who is between two of the holy women. Three more figures are to the left. Five angels are overhead.
On the right wing are the penitent thief, a female saint, and the donor kneeling-an old man in a purple robe. On the left wing the impenitent thief, Longinus, and the centurion. In the foreground is a shield bearing the arms of the town of Bruges.
Painted for the Hospice of St. Julien, Bruges.
( Originally Publihed 1910 )