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HOLIDAY SPIRIT IN ART
A RENIASSANCE CHRISTMAS
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2: 10 and 11.
The life and career of Northern Renaissance master Hugo van der Goes (1430/1440-1482) remain sketchy including his birthdate and the circumstances of his death. Working mainly in what is now modern day Belgium, the artist’s Portinari Triptych (see: link below to view) is generally considered his greatest achievement. However, the Monforte Altarpiece with its monumental Adoration of the Kings demonstrates the detailed realism, rich color, and luminous light typical of van der Goes’ style. Located in a convent in northern Spain from the 16th century to 1914 when it was bought by a German art museum, the painting’s early history remains a mystery; signs of damage are also evident including he truncated angels just above the Madonna’s head.
For a look at the Portinari Triptych, click
Welcome in the holidays with Through an Artist’s Eyes: Learning to Live Creatively.