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Rogier van der Weyden

1399-1464

One of the Greatest Painters Of All Time

Dutch Renaissance Painter

Stylistically influenced by the following painters and art movements - Jan van Eyck and Robert Campin

Education - apprenticed to a local goldsmith and later to the workshop of Robert Campin.

Cause of Death -  Fever

 
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Rogier van der Weyden lived during troubled and restless times. The world was in transition. The old feudal system imposed by the Church was buckling under the expansion of towns, the rise of the merchant class, the emergence of national states, the spread of religious reform and invention of the printing press. People were becoming fascinated with science, art and far off places. Rogier van der Weyden was born at the beginning of the modern world.

 Rogier van der Weyden's early training was in the workshop of the town goldsmith. Although it is not known if he ever actually worked in the trade. Approaching thirty, he began assisting in the studio of Robert Campin, the greatest painter in Northern Europe at that time.  Rogier absorbed the Gothic artistic tradition and influence, reinterpreting them in new innovative ways. After his assistantship with Campin he established his own studio in Brussels and quickly established himself as an international art superstar.

Within a few years Rogier was inundated with lots of commissions from monarchs, the ruling church hierarchy and wealthy influential burghers. He worked with absolute concentration, demanding complete quiet in his workshop.  Consistent with his former studies with Robert Campin, he defines his subject with a firm hand and exquisite draftsmanship.  Favoring dramatic depictions of the Bible and the lives of Saints.

Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Northern Renaissance Movement rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world,  publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists,  sfumato, symbolism, chiaroscuro,  spiritually significant,  illuminated manuscript,  idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, illuminator, plague, Age of Discovery, curiosity about the natural world,  realistic use of colours and  light,  Old Testament stories, Gospel parables, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism.

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