Northern Europe: 15th century

Burgundian and adjacent territories

Ruled by a succession of very wealthy Dukes, Burgundy (today parts of France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands) produced some of the most important art of the 15th century.

1400 - 1500 (Northern Renaissance)

videos + essays

Here you'll find the work of Rogier van der Weyden, Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus, Robert Campin, and many others.

The question of pregnancy in Jan van Eyck’s <em>Arnolfini Portrait</em>
The question of pregnancy in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait

Van Eyck’s enigmatic and iconic double portrait often prompts the question: is the female figure pregnant?

Rogier van der Weyden, <em>The Crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning</em>
Rogier van der Weyden, The Crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning

Mary cries and falls into John’s arms. Rogier’s precise observations accentuate the emotional impact of this scene.

Herman, Paul, and Jean de Limbourg, <em>The Belles Heures</em> of Jean de France, Duc de Berry
Herman, Paul, and Jean de Limbourg, The Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry

Open this astonishing book and see how three brothers invented compositional devices to unite text and image.

The Holy Thorn Reliquary of Jean, duc de Berry
The Holy Thorn Reliquary of Jean, duc de Berry

This foot-high theatre offers a drama in three acts. A golden thorn claims the starring role.

Workshop of Robert Campin, <em>Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece</em>)
Workshop of Robert Campin, Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece)

Look closely—not only is the level of detail here astonishing, but these everyday objects embody religious symbols.

Jan van Eyck, <em>Portrait of a Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?)</em>
Jan van Eyck, Portrait of a Man in a Red Turban (Self-Portrait?)

“As I can.” On the frame to this portrait, the painter humblebrags—and establishes his place in history.

Claus Sluter (with Claus de Werve), <em>Mourners</em>
Claus Sluter (with Claus de Werve), Mourners

Monks, or modern dancers? Robes dwarf these hooded men, but outsized drapery befits their monumental expressivity.

Claus Sluter (with Claus de Werwe), <em>The Well of Moses</em>
Claus Sluter (with Claus de Werwe), The Well of Moses

Grieving angels and individualized prophets once inspired prayers at this well-funded Carthusian monastery.

Rogier van der Weyden, <em>Crucifixion Triptych</em>
Rogier van der Weyden, Crucifixion Triptych

From the ruffled veil around Mary’s face to the lancet windows of a very Gothic Jerusalem, Rogier revels in detail.

Robert Campin, <em>Christ and the Virgin</em>
Robert Campin, Christ and the Virgin

So close, yet so far—face-to-face with Christ, we fail to catch his eye. But what’s that reflected on his chest?

Petrus Christus, <em>Portrait of a Young Woman</em>
Petrus Christus, Portrait of a Young Woman

Who’s that girl? We know so little about this portrait, but mystery only adds to its appeal.

Jan van Eyck, <em>The Madonna in the Church</em>
Jan van Eyck, The Madonna in the Church

Light floods this church from the north. Impossible? That depends on how you see it. To van Eyck, it was visionary.

Selected Contributors | Burgundian and adjacent territories