Book Series Museums at the Crossroads, vol. 1

Petrus Christus in Renaissance Bruges, an Interdisciplinary Approach

M.W. Ainsworth (ed)

  • Pages: 221 p.
  • Size:210 x 297 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:1995

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-50444-5
  • Paperback
  • Available

An interdisciplinary approach to the works of Petrus Christus incorporating the papers of the 1994 Petrus Christus Symposium at The Metropolitan Museum in New York.


During the past few decades, admirers of Petrus Christus have been astonishingly fortunate. Unknown or forgotten paintings in the style of Christus have turned up with surprising regularity: in the 1950s, the wonderful Kansas City Holy Family; in the 1960s the Birmingham Christ and the Bruges Isabella of Portugal Presented by Saint Elisabeth in the 1980s, the Cleveland Baptist and the problematic Bruges panels of the Annunciation and the Nativity. Nothing, of course, can compensate for the loss, during World War II, of the Dessau Crucifixion, and the Berlin wing panels of the Baptist and Saint Catherine. We had to wait until 1974 for the first monograph devoted to Christus, but since then two more books on Christus have been published and important discoveries have been made about his career in Bruges. Thanks to Maryan Ainsworth and her colleagues, we had a truly marvellous exhibition, where we had the privilige of studying more of Chrsitus' paintings than he himself can ever have seen gathered in one place. The exhibition itself initiated a new phase in Christus studies and it is the ideal beginning. If problems of attribution and chronology are ever to be settled, they had to be settled during the exhibition. This publication offers the papers of the 1994 Petrus Christus Symposium at The Metropolitan Museum in New York. L. Campbell, Approaches to Petrus Christus, W. Blockmans, The Creative Environment: Inventions and Functions of Bruges Art Production, C. Harbison, Fact, Symbol, Ideal, Roles for Realism in Early Netherlandish Painting, G.B. Canfield, The Reception of Flemish Art in Renaissance Florence and Naples, M.P.J. Martens, Discussion, J. Upton, PETRUS.XPI.ME.FECIT, The Transformation of a Legacy, S. Buck, Petrus Christus' Berlin Wings and the Metropolitan Museum's Eyckian Diptych, S. Jones, The Virgin of Nicholas van Maelbeke and the Followers of Jan Van Eyck, C. Eisler, Discussion, L. Gellman, Two Lost Portraits by Petrus Christus.