Thursday, January 31, 2008


This picture by Dutch painter Gérard David (1460-1523 ), not to be confused with French Jacques Louis David ( 1748-1825 ) was an early Netherlandish painter and manuscript illuminator known for his brilliant use of color (see picture below).

David had been completely forgotten when in the early 1860s he was rescued from oblivion by William Henry James Weale, whose researches in the archives of Bruges brought to light the main facts of the painter's life and led to the reconstruction of David's artistic personality, beginning with the recognition of David's only documented work, the
Virgin Among Virgins at Rouen.

Born in Oudewater, he was admitted to the painter's guild in Bruges in 1484. His works are mostly religious subjects, imbued with a gentle piety showing the influence of the earlier Netherlandish masters, such as Jan van Eyck and Hugo van der Goes. In 1494 David became Bruges' leading painter, after Memling died. In the 1970s this picture was found with a lot of bric-à-brac in the vestry of All Hallows Berkyngechurch-by-the-Tower, the oldest church in the city of London.

It had originally been given to the Rev. Clayton, vicar of All Hallows fron 1922 to 1963. When it came up for sale in 1973, it made
160,000 Gns. ($ 420,000).

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