Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle)
About the life of this shadowy artist, who is considered as one of the founders of the Netherlandish School, almost nothing is known. Attributions are rare and speculative
Kampen’s devotional altarpieces and portraits are painted with the concentrated intensity that you get in a diminishing mirror. Virgin and Christ child are shown as down-to-earth people in everyday settings.
Kampen uses light to isolate objects; the odd perspective is worked out experimentally, not scientifically. Use a magnifying glass to examine the extraordinarily fine detail; don’t forget to look out of his windows at what is happening in the street. Objects and details usually contain or imply much complex symbolism.
Robert Campin’s major works are Entombment, c. 1420 (Private Collection); A Woman, c. 1430 (London: National Gallery); The Virgin and Child before a Firescreen, c. 1430 (London: National Gallery); St. Barbara, 1438 (Madrid: Museo del Prado).
- Robert Cumming. Art: complete encyclopedia. – 512 p. – Moscow: Astrel, 2005.