Braque Triptych (c.1452)

Van der Weyden, Rogier (c.1399-1464)

Braque Triptych
Oil on wood, 41 x 68 cm
Musée du LouvreParis


Left panel: Saint John the Baptist

Central panel: Virgin Mary, Jesus and St John the Evangelist

Right panel: St Mary Magdalene

Painted for Jean Braque († 1452) and his wife Catherine de Brabant, married in 14501451 and whose arms, identified from 1863 (Weale), appear on the exterior face of the shutters of the triptych (these Tournaisians belong one and the the other to Parisian families established at the beginning of the 15th century in Tournai, then a city of the kingdom of France, the Braques having been important financiers in the service of the Valois in the previous century); bequeathed by Catherine de Brabant to her grandson, Jean Vilain, lord of Boucharderie, according to a will of 1497; remained in joint possession with the Vilain heirs who ended up giving it – in 1586 – to Jérôme de Brabant, holder of the name (this Jérôme was the great-grandson of Catherine Brabant’s brother and lived in Ghent). – In the 19th century, before 1845, from a certain Evans, an artist from London, who had acquired it from a priest living in the north of England, who would have bought it at a public sale where the painting was supposed to have was imported from Flanders (according to Weale, 1863); ceded by Evans to Richard Grosvenor († 1860), 2nd Marquess of Westminster, London, 1845; his widow Elizabeth († 1891); their daughter Theodora Guest, Inwood House, Henstridge Blanford, Dorset (first reproduced 1906); rediscovered in those years by the connoisseur Robert Langton Douglas who reported it to the collector Johnson in Philadelphia and informed him of various attempts and hesitations by dealers, such as Duveen, May 1913; François Kleinberger, art dealer, Paris, 1913; acquired from the latter, July 1913. (Louvre)