Campin, Robert (c.1378-1444)
This is the right wing of the Trinity Diptych (1430s).
This altar diptych consists of two scenes, The Trinity and the Virgin and Child by a Fireplace. It is the very earliest Netherlandish work in the Hermitage. On this, the right wing, we see the Virgin in a typical interior of the kind one would expect to find in the comfortable house of a Netherlandish burgher. She is totally absorbed in the everyday concerns of motherhood: about to swaddle the child, she stretches out her hand to the fire in order to warm it. The artist reproduces many details of the setting, the household objects, emphasizing their mass, solidity and texture: the marble tiles of the floor, the ermine wrap on the Virgin’s knees, the bowl and ewer, the pure white towel on the rail, the nail heads, the window lattice. He marvellously conveys the cold, diffused daylight and the tiny fragment of an urban landscape visible through the window. The very realistic impression is largely the result of the use of the oil painting technique, first introduced by the founder of Netherlandish Renaissance painting Jan van Eyck. (SHM)