Carved lintel Bruges
Carved lintel Bruges
Carved lintel Bruges

Carved lintel Bruges

c. 1450 Europe

Offered by Joanna Booth

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The Annunciation

This fine lintel carved with the Annunciation is a rare survival from a 15th Century Flemish interior. The composition with both the Angel and Mary on the same plain with lily filled urn between has similarities with painting of the 15th Century such as Van Eyck’s Altarpiece from St. Bavon Cathedral Ghent (1432), or The Master of Flemalle scene of the same subject in the Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels. The cascading folds of the robes which splay out round both Angel and Virgin is likewise a characteristic of painting.

There is a lintel of comparable proportions in situ in the fireplace of the Gruut Haus Museum in Bruges which has aspects which indicate a similar provenance. The Angel in particular has the same pose with the shape of the face framed by curling hair. The banderole scroll in the Gruut Haus example has however been replaced by a sceptre and a document with attached seal to confirm the message.
Another similarity is the row of rosettes along the base of the lintel.
The reason for my suggesting this piece as an entry for Object of the Year is the quality of the carving, its rarity as an object and that it demonstrates so succinctly the links between painters and sculptors in early Flemish Art. In the first half of the 15th Century painters often imitated sculpture with three dimensional depth in their figures and aimed to assert their superiority in the arts. The lintel, however seems in its turn, to owe its inspiration to painting. This would have been even more apparent if its colour and gilding had survived but the overall composition, the empathy of the two figures with their characteristic poses all emphasize the cross fertilization between the two branches of art.
Height 40.00 cm (15.75 inches)
Width 180.00 cm (70.87 inches)
Limestone with traces of colour and gilding
Joanna Booth

Joanna Booth
PO Box 50886

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