The last significant Netherlandish painter in the tradition of Van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. David worked in Bruges and Antwerp, creating portraits and altarpieces. He loved the exact details of objects. David was fascinated with landscape and townscape, placing figures naturally and at ease within them—his landscapes are especially fine. His spaces are open, not crowded with characters, which gives a feeling of peace and harmony with nature and God.
Notice how the Italian influence on his work increases progressively and inexorably but never takes over completely; moves from love of particular detail to more generalized storytelling. Note the individualism of each tree; characters have modest, solemn, but seemingly expressionless, faces. The Splendid, subtle, rich colors, harmoniously woven together. David’s paintings remind us that fine craftsmanship and skill are God-given talents.
Gerard David’s major works are Christ Nailed to the Cross, c. 1481 (London: National Gallery); The Annunciation, 1506 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art); A Rest during the Flight to Egypt, c. 1510 (Madrid: Museo del Prado).
- Robert Cumming. Art: complete encyclopedia. – 512 p. – Moscow: Astrel, 2005.