The Betrothal of the Virgin (1420-1430)

Campin, Robert (c.1378-1444)

The Betrothal of the Virgin
Grisaille, Oil on oak panel, 77 x 88 cm
Museo del PradoMadrid

Two scenes are represented in this work. On the left, in a circular, Romanesque interior covered with a dome, is the Miracle of the flowering Rod, which designated Joseph as the man to marry Mary. In the building´s stained-glass windows, capitals and tympana are scenes from the Old Testament that foreshadow or announce others from the New Testament, such as the sacrifice of Isaac, which prefigures the Redemption of Christ. On the right is a depiction of the Betrothal of the Virgin under a gothic portico, announcing the imminent arrival of the New Law. In this, one of his earliest works, Campin maintains the characteristic exoticism of the international style, combined with Flemish naturalism and the clear depiction of the quality of things. The figures of Saint Claire and Saint James the Elder are painted on the back in grisaille, in a sculptural manner. Attributed to Roger van der Weyden for some time, this panel entered El Escorial in 1584, arriving at the Prado Museum in 1839. (MNP)