Juan de Flandes (artist)|
Hispano-Flemish, active 1496 - 1519
The Temptation of Christ, c. 1500/1504
oil on panel
painted surface: 21 x 15.5 cm (8 1/4 x 6 1/8 in.) overall (panel): 21.3 x 16 cm (8 3/8 x 6 5/16 in.) framed: 25.4 x 20.3 cm (10 x 8 in.)
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund
Object 9 of 9
Conservation NotesThe panel is made of a single piece of wood. All four corners are slightly worn and chipped. There are nicks in the center of all four sides, probably resulting from the way the painting was mounted at some point. The painted surface is bordered by a gold band, which seems to be original. Beneath it is what appears to be a layer of pale gray bole. No underdrawing is visible with infrared reflectography. Removal of labels formerly affixed to the back of the panel revealed old inscriptions, one below the other, on the panel itself: Luca di . . . d . . . in black ink; Gerardo van der [M]eir ... in blue crayon; and 2 in black ink. The painting is in very good condition, with some loss in the corners and some minimal inpainting, particularly along the crackle in the sky.
A survey of the condition of the unpainted edges of all the panels belonging to the series would probably provide some information on their framing history. Thus, in Christ Appearing to His Mother with the Redeemed of the Old Testament in London, one of four not sold in 1505, a whitish chalk ground extends over the unpainted edges at top and sides. A gold border, said to be a recent addition, was removed in 1967-1968; see MacLaren 1952 (2d ed. 1970), 42. Christ and the Samaritan Woman in the Louvre, the only panel bought by the head of the pages in 1505, has both an unpainted edge and a gold border apparently added within the painted image and now partially removed and overpainted.
 In addition to two typed descriptive labels, one stating, "... bought by J.W. from Bardini, the dealer, in Florence, in 1899...," and a label from Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., no. 28505, these are a label from the Royal Academy Winter exhibition, 1908, and smaller stickers with 55 in ink and HAB/7 2 A in ink. The labels are now in the curatorial files.
 The second inscription most probably refers to Gerard van der Meire, a documented Ghent painter to whom many early Netherlandish paintings were attributed in the nineteenth century; see J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle, The Early Flemish Painters: Notices of their Lives and Works, 2d ed. (London, 1872), 147-154.
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