21st сentury is a period of wonders, but unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of information about people who lived long-long time ago. The same thing happened with a biography of Petrus Christus who was and still is a very famous painter.
Petrus Christus was born in 1420 in Baarle, near Antwerp and Breda. As he was a pupil of Jan van Eyck, so his paintings are sometimes mistakenly perceived as Eyck’s ones. After Eyck’s death in 1441 Christus took over his master’s workshop. He had very big influence on Christus’s life, without him, we, probably would never get such fascinating pictures.
Our artist is the only representative of Bruges’s painters of that period between Van Eyck and Memling whose creative work is known. His career as an artist lasted for thirty years in his native place of birth. During this time he made thirty paintings, but only 9 of them are signed and dated. This style belonged to Jan van Eyck. Just as Jan van Eyck, he signed his works on the register.
All his creativeness has a very important meaning in the world. In the 15th century, his paintings and Petrus himself became important figures and had a crucial effect on all Flemish painting. Also, Christus showed a new format of the interior portrait, gothic interior. There he exchanged the neutral background with the interior of a room.
Key Ideas in painting
All people believe that he was prepared and trained in studio Jan van Eyck. The way he made the pictures can be described as a very naturalistic one. And at the same time, this naturalism was made with jewel like accuracy, showing that he made his pictures in a very master way. Also, it is well-known that some of his motifs and compositions were drawn from the emotional tradition of Early Netherlandish art.
What is the historical meaning of the author’s works? His strong struggle to understand space. Look at his “Virgin with Saints Jerome and Francis” – it is the earliest Netherlandish painting made the way we see it now.
Paintings made by Petrus Christus
Hero of our article was a very talented man. You probably know only his famous work the portrait of a young woman. To your big surprise we know at least six pieces of art, which he signed and dated. These are famous paintings:
– the Virgin Nursing the Child (now it is in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, 1449)
-the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Jerome and Francis (Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1457).
– St. Eligius in His Shop (New York, 1449)
– the Portrait of a Carthusian(New York, 1446)
– “Berlin Altar Wings” with the Annunciation, Nativity, and Last Judgment (Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 1452)
– the Portrait of Edward Grymeston (artwork was made in London, 1446)
All those drawings had a huge impact and big popularity in that times.
A Goldsmith in his Shop
A painting “A Goldsmith in his Shop” was made in 1449 in Northern Renaissance style. The genre of the picture is interesting; we see it as a religious painting. Christus made it using oil and panel. The picture is now in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its size is big 85 x 99 cm
An art “The Lamentation” was made in 1435 in Northern Renaissance style. The genre of the picture is as well religious painting. Christus made it using the same oil and panel. The picture is now in Paris Louvre. Its size is not very big: 30.4 x 38 cm
Annunciation and Nativity
A painting “Annunciation and Nativity” was made in 1452 in Northern Renaissance style. The genre of the picture of the religious painting. Christus made it using oil and panel. Place where the picture is now located is still unknown.