dypthichs

Rogier van der Weyden
(Netherlandish, c. 1399/1400–1464)
Virgin and Child with Philippe de Croÿ, c. 1460
left: Masonite, transferred from canvas, originally on panel
right: oil on panel
left: 50.8 x 33 (20 x 13); right: 51.5 x 33.6 (20 x 13 )
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino; The Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection (left);
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (right)

These two panels were once part of a single diptych but now reside in separate collections in the United States and Europe. Technical examination of the portrait of Philippe de Croÿ reveals that the entire green background was glazed over silver leaf, a harmonious accompaniment to the gold background of the Virgin and Child. The De Croÿ coat of arms on the reverse of the donor portrait employs both gold and silver leaf.

Philippe de Croÿ, scion of a powerful aristocratic family, was about 27 years old and a rising star at the Burgundian court when Rogier painted this portrait. Known as proud, eloquent, ambitious, and talented, De Croÿ later distinguished himself as both a diplomat and a warrior. The sumptuously bound book held by the Christ child may allude to the donor's love of books and his family's fine library.