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 Ysenbrandt, Adrien (Flemish painter, ca. 1500-before 1551) , The Annunciation (Angel Gabriel)

Core Record

Title The Annunciation (Angel Gabriel)
Alternative Title æ
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Ysenbrandt, Adrien (Flemish painter, ca. 1500-before 1551)
Date Earliest about 1510
Date Latest about 1512
Description During Lent the wings of this triptych would have been closed, with only the outside of the closed wings, of which this panel forms half, showing. The closed wings show the Annunciation in monochrome, or grisaille. The monochrome effect of grisaille would have been suitably restrained for display during this time. It would also have cost less, having none of the expensive pigments seen on the inner panels. The words of Gabriel are written on the scroll which spans the closed wings, 'Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee'.

Ysembrandt spent his working life in Bruges, at that time an important artistic centre. He continued the tradition of the great Bruges painters, Hans Memling (1430/5-94) and Gerard David ((d. 1523). Little is known about his life and he left no known signed works, but a number of paintings, including this piece, have been attributed to him on the basis of style alone.

This triptych would have been placed upon a small side altar as an aid to piety and a source of instruction. For most of the year, it would have been shown open displaying the Nativity, Adoration of the Magi and Presentation which correspond to the three feasts of Christ's infancy in the church year, Christmas, Epiphany and Candlemas.

Current Accession Number 1928P554d
Former Accession Number P.554'28
Inscription front (on scroll) 'Ave Gracia'
Subject religion (Angel Gabriel, Annunciation)
Measurements 28.5 x 90.3 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel (hardwood {oak})
Acquisition Details Given by the John Sumner Trust 1928.
Provenance Durlacher, 1903; Fairfax Murray; Agnew's, 1918; Sumner Trust.
Principal Exhibitions Düsseldorf, Stadtischen, 1904, cat. no. 154; Kunsthistorische Ausstellung, Musée Communal, Bruges, 1949, cat. no. 24; L'Exposition Gerard Dou, Wildenstein, London, 1949, cat. no. 21; Gerard Dou and his Followers, Royal Academy, London, 1953, cat. no. 100; Pictures from Birmingham, Agnew's, London, 1957, cat. no. 27; Old Masters from Birmingham, Wildenstein, London, 1970, cat. no. 6.
Publications Friedländer, M. J., 'Hugo van der Goes, Eine Nachlese' in Jahrbuch der Königlich Preussischen, 1904, pp. 114-18 as 'Bruges Master, about 1510'; Von Bodenhausen, E., Gerard Dou und Seine Schule, 1905, p. 94; Conway, W. M., The Van Eykes and Their Followers, 1921, pp. 229, 309-400; Kaines-Smith, S. C., 'An Isembrant for Birmingham',Burlington Magazine, vol. 53, 1928, pp. 238-243; Friedländer, M.J., Die Altniederländische Malerei, 1934, p. XI, no.126; Catalogue of Paintings in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1930; Catalogue of Paintings in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 83, ill.
Notes Contrary to previously held beliefs, the frame is not original since the edge of the centre frame is at least 3 mm from the edge of the painted surface at each side, and there is a narrow fillet added on to the left to hold the panel in the frame.

Kaines-Smith attributed this to Ysenbrandt in 1928 and Friedländer in 1934, dating it to 1510 - 1512.

Friedländer (1904) compared this painting with the triptych The Offering in the Temple in St Saviour's, Bruges, which can be dated to the first decade of the sixteenth century, and he associated them both with the group of works by the master then temporarily identified as the Pseudo-Mostaert (now identified as Ysenbrandt ). He also pointed out that the composition of the Presentation is copied almost directly from the right wing of Memling's Adoration of the Magi triptych in the Prado, Madrid, which in turn was derived from the St Columba Altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden. In his view the upper half of the kneeling Magus resembles the kneeling Magus in The Adoration of the Magi in Berlin, a poor copy after a lost Hugo van der Goes. This lost work was also the model for Gerard David's Adoration of the Magi now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, and the latter would also appear to have influenced the composition of this painting. Kaines-Smith (1928) argued that this work demonstrates that Ysenbrandt originated in Antwerp and that he was, in his early years, closely allied with Goossen van der Weyden.

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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