National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: The Netherlands and France in the 1500s

Overview | Start Tour

image of The Baptism of Clovis image of Saint Anne with the Virgin and the Christ Child image of The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
1 2 3
image of The Saint Anne Altarpiece: Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child [middle panel] image of The Marriage of the Virgin image of The Adoration of the Shepherds
4 5 6
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« back to Northern European painting of the 15th-16th centuries

Overview

Much of this tour is made up of paintings that are disassembled parts of church altarpieces. Altarpieces began to appear in the twelfth century. After priests in the Latin church of western Europe began to stand in front of the altar when saying mass, a space was created on the altar for elaborate reliquaries or, lacking important relics to display, for a dramatic painted backdrop. Large assemblages of painted and gilded wooden panels, some more than twenty-feet high, became the focus of church decoration. Altarpieces, and with them the art of painting on wooden panels, gained new prominence and began to attract the greatest artists.

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Captions

1.
1Master of Saint Giles, The Baptism of Clovis, c. 1500
2Master of Frankfurt, Saint Anne with the Virgin and the Christ Child, c. 1511/1515
3Gerard David, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, c. 1510
4Gerard David and Workshop, The Saint Anne Altarpiece: Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child [middle panel], c. 1500/1520
5Bernard van Orley, The Marriage of the Virgin, c. 1513
6Adriaen Isenbrant, The Adoration of the Shepherds, probably 1520/1540
2.
7Corneille de Lyon, Portrait of a Man, c. 1536/1540
8François Clouet, A Lady in Her Bath, c. 1571