The Charterhouse of Bruges
160 pages, 21.6 x 26 cm , 1065 g.
The Charterhouse of Bruges
Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus and Jan Vos
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This book celebrates the reunion— for the first time in twenty-four years and only the second time in their history— of two masterpieces of early Netherlandish painting commissioned by the Carthusian monk Jan Vos during his tenure as prior of the Charterhouse of Bruges in the 1440s: The Frick Collection’s Virgin and Child with St. Barbara, St. Elizabeth, and Jan Vos, commissioned from Jan van Eyck and completed by his workshop; and the Gemäldegalerie’s Virgin and Child with St. Barbara and Jan Vos, painted by Petrus Christus.

These panels are examined with a selection of objects that place them for the first time in the rich Carthusian context for which they were created. Drawing on recent technical examination and new archival research, this volume explores the panels’ creation, patronage, and function in their rich Carthusian context.

The Carthusian order was one of the most austere strands of late medieval monasticism. In apparent contradiction to this asceticism, Carthusian monasteries became remarkable repositories of art, a material accumulation often attributed to lay patronage. However this explanation overlooks the ways in which the Carthusians themselves commissioned and used images for their daily devotions and liturgy, as well as their commemoration. The story of Jan Vos and his patronage of Jan van Eyck and Petrus Christus fundamentally informs our understanding of the role played by images in shaping monastic life and funerary strategies in late medieval Europe.
Author(s)Emma Capron
ContributorsMaryan Ainsworth, Till-Holger Borchert
Article IDart-59291


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