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Rogier van der Weyden and workshop, The Exhumation of Saint Hubert

Key facts
Full title The Exhumation of Saint Hubert
Artist Rogier van der Weyden and workshop
Artist dates about 1399 - 1464
Date made late 1430s
Medium and support Oil with egg tempera on oak
Dimensions 88.2 × 81.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1868
Inventory number NG783
Location Room 28
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Exhumation of Saint Hubert
Rogier van der Weyden and workshop

We are looking at the east end of a Gothic church, where the body of a bishop is being exhumed from his tomb in front of the high altar. This is Saint Hubert, Bishop of Maastricht and Liège, who died in 727. He is being moved from Liège to the newly founded abbey of Saint-Hubert-en-Ardenne, in 825. Although he has been dead 98 years, his body is in perfect condition – proof of his sainthood.

This is one of two surviving panels from a series of the life of Saint Hubert, painted for the chapel of Saint Hubert in the church of Saint Gudula in Brussels (now the cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula). It was probably commissioned when the chapel was founded in the 1430s and includes portraits of the founders and their family members in the crowd clustered around the grave.

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