The Dukes of Rutland;
With J. D. Farr, London;
Acquired from the above by Baron Coppée in London, May 1926.
S. Leclercq, et al
., La Collection Coppée
1991, p. 6, reproduced p. 7;
M. Wilmotte, in the catalogue of the exhibition The World of Bruegel. The Coppée Collection and Eleven International Museums, Tokyo 1995, p. 158, no. F2, reproduced.
This panel would probably have originally formed the right-hand side of a triptych, flanking a Crucifixion
or a Resurrection of Christ
. This is supported by the fragmentary remains of the figure of a bishop saint on the reverse (or outer side) of the panel. When Baron Coppée acquired it in 1926, it was thought to be the work of the Haarlem painter Geergten tot Sint Jans (circa
1455/65 – 1485/95), one of the most important North Netherlandish painters of the second half of the fifteenth century. Though it shares his strong colouring, it quite lacks his mastery of detail or reflective mood. Its author, however, may well have been aware of contemporary developments in painting in Haarlem. The highly original diagonal of the tomb into which Christ’s body in being laid, and the figure of the kneeling Magdalene in the left foreground immediately in front of it can, for example, be paralleled in a panel of the Entombment of Christ
by the Master of the Brunswick Diptych, also painted in Haarlem in 1490–1500 and now in Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts.1
This and its companion panel, a Betrayal of Christ
, were likewise wings of a triptych, and share with this panel a similar interest in tiered multiple narrative scenes, with a very similar Descent from the Cross
and a Noli Me Tangere
replacing the present Harrowing of Hell
. The Coppée panel is, however, likely to be of later date. Wilmotte considered it a provincial Flemish work. The bright local colours and graphic qualities might also suggest that its author was aware of contemporary painting in nearby Germany.
1. Exhibited, Rotterdam, Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Vrooge Hollanders, 2008, no. 16.