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Probably by the workshop of Rogier van der Weyden, Pietà

Key facts
Full title Pietà
Artist Probably by the workshop of Rogier van der Weyden
Artist dates about 1399 - 1464
Date made probably about 1465
Medium and support Oil with egg tempera on oak
Dimensions 35.5 × 45 cm
Acquisition credit Acquired from the Earl of Powis under the terms of the Finance Act, 1956
Inventory number NG6265
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Probably by the workshop of Rogier van der Weyden

According to the Meditations on the Life of Christ and other texts, the weeping Virgin Mary embraced Christ’s body when he was taken down from the Cross. This subject is usually referred to as the pietà.

On the left is Saint Jerome with the lion that was his companion. On the right, a saint wearing the black and white robes of the Dominican Order could be Dominic, but he has no identifying emblem. The donor wears a black garment trimmed with brown fur. The object behind his head is a purple hat, and he wear pattens (wooden overshoes). He is possibly Girolamo Vento, a Genoese merchant living in Bruges in 1469–70.

The figures of the Virgin and Christ are simplified adaptations from the centre panel of the Miraflores Triptych (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) with other figures added around them. Similar groups occur in other paintings connected with Rogier: it seems that he made a simplified version of the Miraflores Pietà which could be repeated and varied by his assistants for different clients.

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