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This publication investigates the individual works ascribed to the Master of Flémalle, presenting new conclusions regarding division of hands and dating.
The group of paintings ascribed to the
Master of Flémalle is one of the most outstanding and at the same time
most enigmatic of early Netherlandish painting. Influential throughout
the 15th century, these works are nowadays regarded, together with
those of the Van Eyck brothers, as a starting point of Northern
renaissance art. Ever since these paintings were grouped together a
hundred years ago, on the grounds of stylistical analysis, they have
been the object of controversial scholarly debates, concerning the
identity of the artist and the coherence and homogeneity of the oeuvre.
This publication presupposes neither the most newly assumed
identification of the artist with Robert Campin of Tournai nor the
homogeneity of the oeuvre. Instead, the investigation concentrates on
the individual works, starting with the eponymous paintings in
Frankfurt. Using the whole range of art historical methods and the
results of technical investigations, the study presents new conclusions
regarding division of hands and dating. Furthermore, the sometimes
complex relations between different works are investigated. Another
important result of the study is the reconstruction of now dismembered
ensembles. In the course of the study, the Flémalle group turns out to
be the work of several artists rather than the oeuvre of one master.
There seem to be two major sub-groups which are connected with each
other and which may even have come from one workshop. In the light of
these findings, the study gives a new evaluation of the roles of Robert
Campin and Rogier van der Weyden.