Two fifteenth-century Madonnas, originally painted roughly a decade apart by the hands of two of the era’s most prominent masters, reunite in splendid fashion in the exhibition, “The Charterhouse of Bruges: Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus, and Jan Vos,” on view at New York’s Frick Museum from 18 September to 6 January.
The story of the exhibition begins with Jan Vos, a Carthusian monk who became the prior of the Charterhouse of Bruges in 1441. He remained in the post until the early 1450s, and during this time he commissioned several noteworthy compositions. These include Jan van Eyck’s Virgin and Child with Saints and Jan Vos (circa 1441-1443) and Petrus Christus’ Virgin and Child with Saint Barbara and Jan Vos (1450), which serve as artistic bookends to his years of service and illuminate in this showcase the practices of religious devotion during this historical moment. This pairing marks only the second time in history that these works have been reunited, making it a moment not to be missed by fans of van Eyck, Christus, or most simply the artistic marvels of fifteenth-century Flanders.
Feeling nostalgic for some Flemish art right now? Head to Musebooks and take a look at Flemish Primitives in Bruges,which highlights some of the most famous figures of Flemish art of the fifteenth century with engaging text and amazing imagery.