Annunciation They are shown in a typical Flemish household,

Annunciation Triptych Altarpiece Project Title: Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece)Date: 1427-1432 CEArtist: Workshop of Robert Campin Location: Made in Tournai, South NetherlandsCurrent location: Medieval Art and The CloistersCulture: South NetherlandishPatron: Name unknown, but shown on the left wing of the triptychPeriod/style: Early Northern Renaissance Tournai, South NetherlandsForm: Medium: Oil on wood (oak)Overall (open): 25 3/8 x 46 3/8 inches; Central panel: 25 1/4 x 24 7/8 inches; each wing: 25 3/8 x 10 3/4 inchesFunction:For private ownership – upper social classes, attention to imperialismShows the moment when Mary finds out that she is pregnant with JesusContent: Having just entered the room, the angel Gabriel is about to tell the Virgin Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus. The golden rays pouring in through the left oculus carry a miniature figure with a cross. This being the Holy Spirit, in the form of the Christ Child, which impregnates Mary, appears descending towards Mary on rays of light coming from the window to the left of the center panel. On the right wing, Joseph, who is betrothed to the Virgin, works in his carpenter’s shop, drilling holes in a board. The mousetraps on the bench and in the shop window opening onto the street are thought to be a reference to the writings of Saint Augustine identifying the cross as the devil’s mousetrap. On the left wing, the kneeling donor appears to witness the central scene through the open door. His wife kneels behind him, and a town messenger stands at the garden gate. These are the owners and they would have purchased the triptych to use in private prayer. An image of Christ’s conception in an interior not unlike the one in which they lived also may have reinforced their hope for their own children. Context:Typical of Northern Renaissance religious art, this piece humanizes Mary and Joseph by showing them doing ordinary things. They are shown in a typical Flemish household, Joseph works as a carpenter, and Mary reads a prayer book. The small details shown are very normal of the Northern Renaissance because they focused on making the painting very symbolic. For example, the pail of water with towels in the background represents Mary’s purity, and the candle symbolizes the holy pregnancy. In the upper left hand corner, the Holy Spirit comes in through the window holding a cross. Sources:–data-recovery-belgium.jpg Biography:Robert Campin is now often referred to as “Master of Flémalle.” It has recently been found, that works now attributed to Campin were actually painted by masters in his circle. Several paintings that were thought to be made by Rogier van der Weyden, who was most-likely a student of Campin’s, are now considered Robert Campin’s, including the Annunciation Triptych. Robert Campin was born in the late 1370’s and became a citizen of Tournai (Doornik in Dutch) in 1410. He made a living from painting banners and statues. He probably became an important man in the city, receiving commissions from the city government, a number of churches and from rich citizens. He may have had a part in the revolt against the patrician rulers in 1425-26 because records show he was prosecuted several times. He ran a productive workshop, employing talents such as Rogier van der Weyden and Jacques Daret. Campin was inspired by contemporaries who illuminated books. Much like his fellow-painter Jan van Eyck, he was one of the first to experiment with paint based on oil rather than on tempera. The use of oil paint allowed him to use much richer colors.Other works of art by Robert Campin:Werl triptychSeilern TriptychNativityHoly Virgin in GloryThe Virgin and Child before a Firescreen  Werl Triptych, Robert Campin, 1438