Pic of the day. Friday, December 16th

The above image is of a painting that has hung on a wall at the Victoria Art Gallery since it was gifted back in 1900.

The Adoration of the Magi is credited to a ‘follower’ of Hugo van Der Goes – one of the most significant and original Flemish painters of the late 15th century and an important painter of altarpieces as well as portraits.

Next year – from mid March to the end of July – it’s going to be hanging elsewhere. It’s off to the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin – which houses one of the world’s most important collections of European paintings – and currently preparing the very first monographic exhibition on Hugo van Der Goes ever attempted.

Though our painting is not by the master, the German gallery is keen to borrow it – and pay all costs for its safe transportation and return. Exactly why is explained in part of a letter requesting the loan.

‘What makes the Adoration of the Magi in the Victoria Art Gallery of great interest to our exhibition project is that its composition was evidently based on multiple paintings by Hugo van der Goes, such as the Berlin Adoration of the Shepherds and the lost Adoration of the Magi, the most faithful copy of which is now likewise in the Berlin Gemäldegalerie.

Additionally, the Bath panel shows its figures in half-length; as demonstrated by the two-part
Small Descent from the Cross and the lost Large Descent from the Cross (today mainly known through numerous painted copies),

Hugo van der Goes played a major role in the development of narrative scenes in half-length format. The Bath painting is also a great example of how followers of Van der Goes were able to adapt his style and motifs with great success.

In the exhibition, the painting from the Victoria Art Gallery would be presented together with the Berlin copy of Van der Goes’ lost Adoration of the Magi and the triptych with the Adoration of the Magi by a follower of Van der Goes from the Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg, which was likewise based in part on the composition of the Ghent master’s lost original.’