Title: ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN (1400?-1464)THE ...
Publisher: Antwerp, Mercatorfonds
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: New
Dust Jacket Condition: New
Edition: 1st Edition
Antwerp,1999. Large quarto.445 pp.500 illustrations including 350 plates in full color.With the original slip-case. Absolute clean, new copy. Weight: 4,2 kilo. ENGLISH EDITION. Bookseller Inventory # 0001450
Synopsis: In 1999 it will be approximately 600 years since the birth of Rogier van der Weyden (Doornik ca. 1398/1400 - Brussels 1464) as Rogier de la Pasture. Although he was one of the greatest artists of the 15th Century, and certainly the most renowned alongside Hans van Eyck, it was not until 1972 that a modern scientific catalogue of his works appeared, compiled by Martin Davies. Since then so much detailed research has been carried out covering historical, iconographic, typological, stylistic and technical aspects as to necessitate renewed consideration of this artist. The fragmented new knowledge was begging for a new synthesis and a brand-new critical catalogue. The biography was given a new twist as a result of interesting recently discovered Doornik documents, since Van der Weyden was working in his birth town of Doornik until at least the age of thirty-five. This period can therefore no longer be dismissed as insignificant, hypothetical or simply as an apprenticeship prior to the artist making his breakthrough in Brussels and - under his Dutchified name - becoming that indelible figure in the modern Western history of art. Closer analysis of style and technical execution shows the role of the studio to be particularly significant. As the heir to his teacher Robert Campin, who also ran a successful painting business with various assistants, Van der Weyden must also have led such a multiple person studio, where the larger works in particular were created through a sort of division of labour. In this regard one can consider Van der Weyden to be a precursor of Rubens. Distinguishing the artist's hand from that of the assistants has become one of the book's aims. To a greater extent than was previously possible, quality criteria have thereby removed the work of well-trained followers from the oeuvre. The catalogue of the painted work which may be considered part of his own oeuvre is consequently limited to 36 pieces. As an introduction to the discussion of that oeuvre, a short chapter also covers the problem of distinguishing the hand in Robert Campin's studio, which has led to a partial reattribution of that Doornik work. The picture of Van der Weyden as a draughtsman was virtually non-existent until recently. Recent IRR research has revealed how paintings were prepared in his studio. In this book, this drawing is considered as part of the studio practice, and not so much as artistic autograph. Furthermore, an attempt is made for the first time to propose a small body of design drawings which have been attributed to followers up until now as autographs of the great Doornik-Brussels master. Van der Weyden interpreted humanity's personal instinctive identification with the holy figures and events, with the mystical content. Using a previously unseen and apparently paradoxical synthesis of religious emotion and a clear and sharp objective realism in the depiction he created lifelike, strictly composed icons onto which the devout believers of the 15th century could project their passionate relationship with Christ and Mary in suffering and love. In order to guide readers in and immediately submerge them in the tonality of that new expression and style, the book opens with an elaborate essay on the greatest of his surviving masterpieces, the Prado's Descent from the Cross.
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