Charles Coguin, Abbot of Anchin

Jean Bellegambe (French, Douai ca. 1470–1535/36 Douai)
ca. 1509–13
Oil on wood
Arched top, 26 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (67.9 x 28.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
Not on view
Charles Coguin was the superior of the Benedictine monastery of Saint Sauveur d'Anchin, near Douai, from 1511 to 1547 and during his years there commissioned many works from Bellegambe. This portrait, which has been cut down at the top and bottom, was the left wing of a triptych.
[A. Forgeais, Paris, about 1858]; Jules Gréau, Paris (in 1890); Michael Friedsam, New York (by 1927–d. 1931)
New York. F. Kleinberger Galleries. "Loan Exhibition of French Primitives and Objects of Art," October 17–November 12, 1927, no. 42 (lent by Michael Friedsam).

Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 17.

Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 17.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 22, 1998–February 21, 1999, no. 36.

C. Dehaisnes. Vie et l'oeuvre de Jean Bellegambe. Lille, 1890, p. 125, mentions this panel as having belonged in about 1858 to the art dealer A. Forgeais in Paris and in 1890 to the collection of Jules Gréau, Paris; identifies the sitter by observing his close resemblance to the portrait in the Anchin altarpiece.

Louis Réau. "Une collection de primitifs français en Amérique." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 13 (January 1926), p. 9 n. 1.

Louis Réau in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], p. 152, as Portrait of a Kneeling Bishop.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), p. 10.

Katharine Grant Sterne. "The French Primitives in the Friedsam Collection." Parnassus 4 (January 1932), p. 9.

Robert Genaille. "Jean Bellegambe, peintre de la Flandre wallonne (1er tiers du XVIe siècle) et l'école de Douai." Master's thesis, École du Louvre, 1934, lists the panel as a work painted after 1515 [see summary in Bulletin des Musées de France 6 (1934), pp. 162–64].

Max J. Friedländer. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 12, Pieter Coeck Jan van Scorel. Leiden, 1935, p. 179, no. 137.

Robert Genaille in Jean Bellegambe, "le Maitre des Couleurs". Exh. cat., Musée d'Arras. Arras, 1951, p. 10, dates it 1515–20.

Charles Sterling. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. Vol. 1, XV–XVIII Centuries. Cambridge, Mass., 1955, pp. 21–22, ill.

Robert Genaille. "Communications: Le vrai sujet du polyptyque d'Anchin." Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art Français, année 1964, (1965), p. 16, observes that Coguin was confirmed as abbot in 1508.

Max J. Friedländer et al. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 12, Jan van Scorel and Pieter Coeck van Aelst. New York, 1975, p. 103, no. 137, pl. 66.

Robert Genaille. "L'oeuvre de Jean Bellegambe." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 87 (January 1976), pp. 9, 21, no. 12, fig. 12, believes the painting dates after 1508, as Coguin is depicted with the attributes of an abbot; notes that the panel seems to have been cut slightly at the top, bottom, and left side, and believes it once had a painting on its reverse and formed the left wing of an altarpiece; suggests that a grisaille panel with Saint Barbara facing to the left (35 x 11 5/8 in., Levinson collection, Lawrence, Long Island) was the outside of a wing balancing ours, as it shows a lozenge with a coat of arms related to that of Coguin.

Mary Sprinson de Jesús in From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth and Keith Christiansen. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, p. 184, no. 36, ill. (color), dates it about 1509–13.

Tableaux anciens et du XIXe siècle. Christie's, Paris. June 24, 2004, p. 14, reproduces the panel of Saint Barbara, "attributed to Jean Bellegambe" (no. f8), that like this panel was in the Gréau collection, Paris; notes that Charles Sterling first suggested [n.d.] that it was originally the reverse of the MMA panel, as the arms displayed above Saint Barbara are those of Abbot Coguin.

"Invenit et Fecit". Bernard Descheemaeker Works of Art. September 28–October 1, 2007, p. 18, identifies a grisaille panel with Saint Barbara, from a private collection, London, as originally the right exterior wing of this triptych.

Coguin was confirmed as abbot of Anchin in 1508, and the picture is likely to have been painted shortly thereafter. This portrait is closely similar to that in Bellegambe's Trinity Altarpiece (Musée de Douai) of about 1515.