Campin, Robert (c.1378-1444)
This is the left wing of the Trinity Diptych (1430s).
This panel forms a pair with the right wing of the diptych showing the Virgin and Child (also in the Hermitage). Together they illustrate the two central Christian dogmas, with Christ’s childhood (the Incarnation) seen on the right wing and on the left his death for the sake of mankind (Redemption). The symbolic depiction of the Trinity on this panel consists of God the Father enthroned, supporting the dead body of Christ (God the Son) and between them the dove representing God the Holy Spirit. In niches on the arms of the throne are sculptural images showing the Christian Church and the Synagogue. Above them are a pelican feeding its little ones with its own blood (the symbol of Christ’s self-sacrifice and the sacrament of communion) and a lioness awakening its young with growl on the third day after their birth (symbol of the Resurrection of Christ at the call of God the Father). The iconography, static figures, combination of various points of view in the depiction of the place of action and the hard jagged folds of drapery derive from Gothic art. (SHM)