1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Weyden, Rogier van der

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WEYDEN, ROGIER VAN DER [originally Roger de la Pasture][1] (c. 1400–1464), Flemish painter, was born in Tournai, and there apprenticed in 1427 to Robert Campin He became a gild master in 1432 and in 1435 removed to Brussels, where he was shortly after appointed town painter His four historical works in the Hotel de Ville have penshed, but three tapestries in the Bern museum are traditionally based on their designs. In 1449 Rogier went to Italy, visiting Rome, Ferrara (where he painted two pictures for Lionel d'Este), Milan and probably Florence, On returning (1450) he executed for Pierre Bladelin the " Magi " triptych, now in the Berlin Gallery, and (1435) an altarpiece for the abbot of Cambrai, which has been identified with a triptych in the Prado Gallery representing the " Crucifixion," " Expulsion from Paradise " and " Last Judgment." Van der Weyden's style, which was in no way modified by his Italian journey, is somewhat dry and severe as compared with the painting of the Van Eycks, whose pupil Vasari erroneously supposed him to be, his colour is less rich than theirs, his brush-work more laboured, and he entirely lacks their sense of atmosphere. On the other hand, he cared more for dramatic expression, particularly of a tragic kind, and his pictures have a deeply religious intention. Comparatively few works are attributed with certainty to this painter, chief among such are two altarpieces at Berlin, besides that mentioned above, " The Joys and Sorrows of Mary," and "Life of St John the Baptist," a " Deposition " and " Crucifixion " in the Escorial, the Prado triptych, another (" Annunciation," " Adoration " and " Presentation ") at Munich, a " Madonna " and a " St John the Baptist " at Frankfort. The " Seven Sacraments " altarpiece at Antwerp is almost certainly his, likewise the " Deposition " in the Uffizi, the triptych of the Beaune hospital, and the " Seven Sorrows " at Brussels. Two pictures of St Luke painting the Virgin, at Brussels and St Petersburg respectively, are attributed to him. None of these is signed or dated. Van der Weyden attracted many foreigners, notably Martin Schongauer, to his studio, and he became one of the main influences in the northern art of the iSth century. He died at Brussels in 1464. His descendant, Rogier van der Weyden the younger, is known to have entered the Antwerp gild in 1328, but no work of his has yet been satisfactorily authenticated.

See Hasse, Roger van der Weyden und Roger van Brugge (Strassburg. 1905)

  1. He has sometimes been wrongly identified with a painter called Roger of Bruges or Ruggiero da Bruggia.