Who Is Jeffrey Jones's Merode Altarpiece?

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Museum Essay- Merode Altarpiece
Jeffrey Jones The Merode Altarpiece is a triptych painting that depicts a scene in which the angel Gabriel appears before the Virgin Mary to inform her that she will be the mother of Jesus. In the middle panel of the triptych, Gabriel is seen just entering room to speak to Mary. Through a window on the left side of the room, a ray of light shines through, revealing a small figure carrying a cross above Gabriel. On the right panel, Joseph, the fiancé of Mary, is seen drilling holes into a board in his workshop. According to the writings of Saint Augustine, the mousetraps and the open window in the painting are thought to be an allusion referring to the cross as the devil’s mousetrap [1]. On the left panel, the paintings donor is seen kneeling outside of the door with which the middle panel takes place. Later on, presumably after the donor was married, his wife and the messenger seen in the background were also added to the panel. The setting with which the Merode altarpiece depicts sets it aside from that of many other Early Renaissance paintings. Traditionally, the setting of most Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings was within a church or palace set on a gold background. Campin and his assistants however went with a
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Breaking away from the typical aristocratic and romantic moods of the Gothic international style, Campin sought to humanize his subjects. Campin’s rendering of his figures and the texture of the clothing they wear is extremely lifelike in appearance. The furniture in room is finely crafted with extremely close attention to detail. Gothic era paintings usually incorporated a golden background to emphasize to the radiance of holy light. Campin had originally covered the window in the background with a golden leaf but ultimately added blue skies and the town’s skyline lying outside the window for added
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