Melchior Broederlam - the Dijon Panels

The early Netherlandish artist Melchior Broederlam lived in Ypres from around 1350 until after 1409. Sadly, there are only two paintings that can, for certain, be attributed to him; the wings of an altarpiece painted for a Carthusian monastery near Dijon in France. The are still in Dijon, in the art gallery there. Between them was a carved panel by the sculptor Jacques de Baerze, which, sadly, does not survive.
  They are both wonderful images, based on Italian models. The left hand panel shows the Annunciation and the Visitation. The right hand panel shows the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple and the Flight into Egypt; the image of a thirsty Joseph has an element of humour. Each panel pairs an indoor and an outdoor scene, with an unusually realistic mountainous background. The panels date from 1399, and are painted with oils, quite revolutionary for the time. His subtle use of the medium may have inspired distinguished painters that followed him, such as Rogier van der Weyden.

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