National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Madonna and Child with Saints in the Enclosed Garden Follower of Robert Campin
Anonymous Artist (painter)
Robert Campin (related artist)
Netherlandish, c. 1375 - 1444
Madonna and Child with Saints in the Enclosed Garden, c. 1440/1460
oil on panel
painted surface: 119.8 x 148.5 cm (47 3/16 x 58 7/16 in.) overall (panel): 122.2 x 151.2 cm (48 1/8 x 59 1/2 in.) framed: 138.7 x 166.7 x 9.5 cm (54 5/8 x 65 5/8 x 3 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1959.9.3
On View
From the Tour: Netherlandish Painting in the 1400s
Object 2 of 9

This imposing panel, once part of a large altarpiece, is probably the work of a follower of Robert Campin, who along with Jan van Eyck transformed painting in the fifteenth-century Netherlands. Campin's influence can be traced through succeeding generations. Among his many pupils was Rogier van der Weyden.

The scene places Mary and Child with saints -- from left to right, Catherine, John the Baptist, Barbara, and Anthony Abbot -- in a walled garden. This enclosure represents both Mary's virginity and the verdant shelter of paradise, which is accessible to worshipers through Christ and the intercession of the saints on their behalf. An unnaturally high horizon makes the ground appear to open up from the viewer, as if to convey him or her into the sacred company. The child is carefully placed at the point where the various triangles -- formed by the Virgin's robe, the gazes of John and Barbara, the lines of Catherine's sword and Anthony's staff -- converge.

Each surface is treated with an almost photographic precision. Plants are depicted with botanical accuracy, and the textures of rich cloth, an important source of wealth in the northern cities, are equally detailed. However, these elements do not combine to create a realistic space. The perspective is more intuitive than scientific and the figures are too large for their surroundings, their size matched not to nature but to their symbolic importance.

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Artist Information (Anonymous Artist)
Artist Information (Robert Campin)
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