Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Donatian; Saint Victor Presenting a Donor

Netherlandish (Bruges) Painter (ca. 1490)
Oil on wood
(18) 9 1/2 x 3 7/8 in. (24.1 x 9.8 cm); (19) 9 1/2 x 4 in. (24.1 x 10.2 cm)
Credit Line:
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 537
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Linsky, New York (until his d. 1980, as by Simon Marmion); The Jack and Belle Linsky Foundation, New York (1980–82)

Guy C. Bauman in The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, pp. 57–59, nos. 18–19, ill., observes that these fragments may have been cut from the wings of a smaller devotional triptych, but are more likely to have been part of a single panel; either way they must have flanked a seated Virgin and Child, to whom the donor is being presented by his patron saint; notes that the composition as originally conceived appears to have been inspired by Jan van Eyck's "Madonna with Canon van der Paele" (Groeninge Museum, Bruges); identifies the patron saint as a warrior saint, probably Maurice, and dates the panels about 1490; sees in the clear bright colors and simplified compositions an affinity with late 15th-century painting in Northern France, but notes that "these same qualities are not uncommon in works by anonymous minor masters of the Ghent/Bruges school"; adds that "the voluminous modeling of the faces indicates a Flemish painter, and the influence of the Van Eyck 'Madonna' suggests a painter in Bruges, where the cathedral was dedicated to that town's patron saint, Donatian".

Guy Bauman. "Early Flemish Portraits, 1425–1525." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 43 (Spring 1986), pp. 20–21, ill. (color), calls the patron saint "probably Victor," and tentatively suggests the panels were produced in Bruges.

Jochen Sander. Niederländische Gemälde im Städel, 1400–1550. Mainz, 1993, pp. 278–79, ill., ascribes these panels to a Bruges(?) Master, about 1490, comparing them to panels he ascribes to a Bruges(?) Master, about 1485–90, that serve as interior wings for a Virgin and Child by Hugo van der Goes in the Städelsches Museum, Frankfurt.

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. 405, ill.

Didier Martens. "Échos de la 'Madone au chanoine Van der Paele,' en particulier dans l'oeuvre du Maître brugeois de la Légende de sainte Ursule." Mélanges offerts à Claire Dickstein-Bernard. Ed. Pierre Bonenfant and Pierre Cockshaw. Brussels, 1999, pp. 217–21, ill. (overall and detail), notes that the features and modeling of the armored saint's head are close to those in generally accepted works by the Master of the Legend of Saint Ursula; compares this head to that of Saint Louis in the Masters "Virgin and Child with Saints" (Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels) and to male donors's heads in the "Virgin and Child with Donors" (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp) and "Altarpiece of the Nativity" (Detroit Institute of Arts); suggests that the sitter was affiliated with the church of Saint Donation in Bruges and that the original painting was commissioned by this church.

Didier Martens. "Le Maître aux Madones Joufflues: Essai de monographie sur un anonyme brugeois du XVIème siècle." Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 61 (2000), pp. 132–33, fig. 29, illustrates it as by the Master of the Legend of St. Ursula and notes that the arrangement of the figures follows an eyckian model.

Didier Martens. "Der Brügger Meister der Lucialegende. Bilanz der Forschungen und neue Hypothesen." Die Kunstbeziehungen Estlands mit den Niederlanden in den 15.–17. Jahrhunderten. Der Marienaltar des Meisters der Lucialegende 500 Jahre in Tallinn. Konferenz 25–26 September, 1995. Tallinn, Estonia, 2000, pp. 48, 66, fig. 17 (Saint Donatian), ascribes it to the Master of the Saint Ursula Legend, noting its dependence on Van Eyck's Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele; sees in our panel an awareness of works by the Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy.

Hendrik Callewier and Noël Geirnaert. "A Bruges Donor Identified: Canon Victor Zwavenarde (ca. 1413–1481)." Metropolitan Museum Journal 48 (2013), p. 81, fig. 1 (color).

These panels are in an excellent state of preservation, although both have been cut down on all four sides.
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